The object of this paper is to inform those concerned with the administration of justice in Ethiopia – particularly, criminal justice – about a new and simple procedure which may assist in procuring uniform interpretation and application of laws and regulations. The problem of uniform interpretation and application is particularly severe where, as in Ethiopia, new laws must be interpreted and applied by persons who have not yet had the opportunity of formal legal education. For these persons the discovery of the relevant code articles and the understanding of their interrelationships and application must be very difficult indeed. One possible result of this unfortunate state of affairs is that the codes will not be fully, effectively, or consistently applied throughout the Empire. If, on the other hand, administrators try to avoid this problem by assigning the Empire's comparatively few legally trained persons to such jobs as public prosecutor, woreda court judge, etc., then the result may be waste of legal resources. No one of these jobs is, in national perspective, of the very greatest importance; overall inefficiency of performance in them, on the other hand, can markedly reduce the quality of Ethiopian justice.
Peter L. Strauss & Michael R. Topping,
J. Ethiopian L.
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