Ethiopia: Law Makers Reject Dismissal of High Court Judge

After a nine month back and forth, the House of People's Representatives (HPR) has rejected a request to remove a federal judge, Ayele Dibo from his federal High court post.

The Federal Judiciary Administration Council in October 2019 submitted a draft resolution requesting the parliament to strip the judge off his status after accusing him of breaching the law and committing high crimes.

The House, which first heldtheudge hearing session in December 2018, has discussed on the draft resolution which was latter referred to the Law and Administration Standing Committee for further revision.

The Standing committee reported two weeks ago, bringing the case back to the House. However, the House which undertook a heated debate on the report and the resolution, failed to vote for the reasons that the Standing committee did not bring a clear resolution to conduct the necessary voting.

Hence, the House rather voted to again refer the resolution back to the standing committee for further revisions demandinga respect to a defendant's constitutional right to be heard.

At the first hearing, the House debated on the Judiciary administration Council's draft resolution with MPs pointing out that the draft resolution did not include any statements that states the defendant's right to be heard.

Judge Ayelewas accused of allowing one detainee go free.He has also been accused of serious crimes which include denial of bail right.

He was also accused of passing a decision against what other corresponding courts (the Arada High Court) have decided.

However, MPs debating over three sessions from December to May 2019 rejected the request to remove the judge. They, in fact, found the judge guilty of making mistakes in some cases he was accused of,but finally voted that he only deserves an administrative penalty. They said that his violation of law did not meet the requirements for a judge to be removed from duty by parliament. Hence, the majority of MPs voted against the request of removal while one MP abstained.

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