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Jurisdiction Of Courts

BOOK I. JURISDICTION OF COURTS

CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art 4- Courts to try suits unless barred

With out prejudice to the provisions of the following Articles, the  courts shall have jurisdiction to try all civil suits other than those of which their cognizance is expressly nor implicitly barred.

Art 5- Res judicata

(1)    No court shall try any suit or issue in which the matter directly and substantially in issue has been directly and substantially in issue in a former suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, and has been heard any finally decided.
(2)    Any matter which might and ought to have been made a ground of defense or attack in the former suit shall be deemed to have been directly and substantially in issue in such suit.
(3)    Any relief claimed in the former suit which has not been expressly granted by the decree passed in such suit shall, for the purposes of the Article, be deemed to have been refused.
(4)    Where persons litigate in good faith in respect of public or private rights claimed in common for themselves and others, all persons interested in such right shall, for the purposes of this Article, be deemed to claim under the persons so litigating.

Art.6- Review of judgments

(1)    Notwithstanding the provisions of Art.5, any party considering himself aggrieved by a decree or order from which an appeal lies, but from which no appeal has been preferred, or by a decree or order from which no appeal lies, may, on payment of the prescribed court fee, apply for a review of judgment to the court which gave it where:
(a) subsequently to the judgment, he discovers new and important matter, such as forgery, perjury or bribery. Which after the exercise of due diligence, was not within his knowledge at the time of the giving of the judgment: and
(b) had such matter been known at the time of the giving of the judgment, it would have  affected the substance of the decree or order the review of which is sought.
(2) An application for review shall contain the same particulars
as a memorandum of appeal and shall be supported by an affidavit  containing strict proof of the fulfillment of the conditions laid down in sub-art. (1) (a). The application shall be filed within one month of the ground of application having been discovered by the applicant.
(3) On granting the application, after giving notice to the opposite party to enable him to appear and be heard in support of the decree or order  the review of which is sought, the court shall make such order in regard to the re-hearing of the case as it thinks fit.
(4) No appeal shall be lie from any decision of the court granting or rejecting an application for review.

Art 7.- Priority

(1)    One and the same civil suit may not be instituted in more than one civil court.
(2)    Where a suit may be instituted in any one of several courts, the court in which the statement of claim was first filed shall have jurisdiction and the suit shall pending in such court.

Art. 8- Pendency

(1)    No court shall try any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted civil suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, where such civil suit is pending in the same or any other court in Ethiopia having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed.
(2)    The pendency of a suit in a foreign court shall not preclude the courts in Ethiopia from trying a suit founded on the same cause of action.
(3)    Where the matter in issue in a suit pending in another court or is so closely connected with a suit pending in another court that it can not properly the tried separately the provisions of Arts. 11 or 244 and  245, as the case may be, shall apply.

Art. 9- Want of material jurisdiction

(1)    A statement of claim field in a court not having material jurisdiction shall be rejected in accordance with Art. 231.
(2)    When and as soon as a court is aware  that  it has  not material jurisdiction to try a suit, it shall proceed in accordance with Art. 245 notwithstanding that no objection is taken under Art. 244 to its material jurisdiction.

Art. 10- Want of local jurisdiction

(1)    A statement of claim field in a court not having local jurisdiction shall be rejected in accordance with Art. 231.
Provided that a court which has jurisdiction under Arts. 19-30 may not reject a statement of claim on the ground that another court also has local jurisdiction.
(2)    Any objection taken under Art. 244 to the local jurisdiction of a court shall be finally decided by the said court and no order made, judgment given or decree passed  by the said court may be invalidated  unless such an objection was taken and the decision thereon has caused a failure of justice.

Art. 11-  Consolidation of suits

(1)    Where two or more suits or appeals are pending between the same parties in the same court, in which the same or similar questions of law or fact are involved, the court may, of its own motion or on the application of either party, order a consolidation of such suits or appeals on such terms as it thinks fit.
(2)    Where two or more suits are pending between the same parties in different courts, in which the same or similar questions of law or fact are involved, or where two or more suits pending between the same parties indifferent court are so closely connected that they can not properly be tried separately, either party may, at any time before evidence is taken in any of such courts, apply for an order that such suits be consolidated.
(3)    An application under sub-art. (2) shall be made to the High Court, where the suits are pending in courts which are all subordinate thereto, or to the Supreme Court, where one or more of the courts in which the suits are pending is a division of the High Court on circuit.
(4)    The court to which the application is made shall, on granting the same, direct by which of the subordinate courts the suit shall be tried.
(5)    The provisions of sub-arts. (2)-(4) shall also apply where two or more appeals, in which the same or similar questions of law of fact are involved, are pending between the same parties is difference courts of the same grade.