FEDERAL NEGARIT GAZETA OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA 6th Year No. 10 Addis Ababa – 7th December. 1999
PROCLAMATION NO. 188/1999 A PROCLAMATION TO CONSOLIDATE FEDERAL COURTS OF SHARIA
WHEREAS, pursuant to Sub-Article (5) of Article 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, disputes arising in relation to marriage, personal and family rights are to be adjudicated in accordance with religious or customary laws, with the consent of the parties thereof;
WHEREAS, the House of peoples’ Representatives and State Councils are empowered, under Sub Article (5) of Article 78 of the Constitution, to establish, as necessary, religious and customary courts that exercise judicial functions on the basis of cultural and religious laws, in cases where such courts are not in existence;
WHEREAS, Courts of Sharia, which have been in existence for more than half a century and been left to remain without any structural changes, need to be consolidated pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution that religious and customary courts, which functioned and had state recognition prior to the adoption of the Constitution, may be organized anew, on the basis of recognition accorded to them by the Constitution;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
PART ONE GENERAL
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Federal Courts of Sharia Consolidation No. 188/1999.”
In this Proclamation:
1. “Kadi” means a judge appointed and sitting at any level of Courts of Sharia;
2. “Chief Kadi” means head of the Federal Supreme Court or the presiding Kadi thereof;
3. “Heads” means heads of the Federal First Instance and High Court of Sharia directing the activities of their respective courts;
4. “Federal Courts of Sharia” include First Instance High Supreme Courts of Sharia;
5. “Civil Procedure laws” means the Civil Procedure Code of 1965 and include any amendments made thereto.
6. “Federal Judicial Administration Commission” means the Commission established under proclamation no. 24/1996.
1. Federal First Instance Court of Sharia,
2. Federal High Court of Sharia,
3. Federal Supreme Court of Sharia,
Are hereby established, being accountable to the Federal Judicial Administration Commission.
PART TWO COMMON JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERALSHARIA COURTS
1. Federal Courts of Sharia shall have common jurisdiction over the following matters:
a) Any question regarding marriage, divorce, maintenance, guardianship of minors and family relationships; provided that the marriage to which the question relates was concluded, or the parties have consented to be adjudicated in accordance with Islamic law;
b) Any question regarding Wakf, gift/Hiba/, succession of wills; provided that the endower or donor is a muslim or the deceased was a muslim at the time of his death.
c) Any question regarding payment of costs incurred in any suit relating to the aforementioned matters.
2. The courts shall have jurisdiction over the aforementioned matters only where, Pursuant to the provisions of Article 34 Sub Article (5) of the Constitution, the parties thereof have expressly consented to be adjudicated under Islamic law.
5. Determination of Consent or Objection
1. Where a party brings a case before a court of Sharia, such court shall issue summons, to the other party for confirmation, in accordance with the form attached herewith, of whether or not he consents to the adjudication of the court.
2. Where a party properly served with summons, pursuant to Sub-Article (1) of this Article, does not confirm his objection or consent by appearing before the registrar of the court, he shall be presumed not to have objected and the case shall be heard ex parte.
3. In the absence of clear consent of the parties for the case to be adjudicated by the court of Sharia before which the case is brought, such court shall transfer the case to the regular federal court having jurisdiction.
4. Under no circumstance shall a case brought before a court of Sharia the jurisdiction of which has been consented to, be transferred to a regular court; nor shall a case before a regular court be transferred to a court of Sharia.
6. Laws to be Applied
1. Federal Courts of Sharia shall adjudicate cases under their jurisdiction in accordance with Islamic Law.
2. In conducting proceedings properly, the courts shall apply the civil procedure laws in force.
7. Contempt of Court
Any person who, in whatsoever manner, shows improper conduct in the course of any proceedings or who, without good cause, fails to comply with an order of the court shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to one month or to a fine of up to Birr 1,000.00 (One thousand Birr).
CHAPTER THREE JURISCITION OF FEDERAL COURTS OF SHARIA
8. Jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court of Sharia
The Federal Supreme Court of Sharia shall have jurisdiction over:
1. Decisions of the Federal High Court of Sharia rendered in its first instance jurisdiction;
2. Decisions of the Federal High Court of Sharia rendered in its appellate jurisdiction.
9. Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Sharia
1. The Federal High Court Sharia shall have first-instance jurisdiction over cases involving an amount in excess of Birr two hundred thousand (200.00).
2. The Federal High Court of Sharia shall have appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the Federa First Instance Court of Sharia.
3. It shall have jurisdiction over applications for change of venue from one Federal First Instance Court of Sharia to another or to itself.
10. Jurisdiction of the Federal First Instance Court of Sharia
The Federal First Instance Court of Sharia shall have jurisdiction over cases involving an amount not in excess of Birr 200,000 (Birr two hundred thousand) or cases the value of which cannot be expressed in money.
PART FOUR STRUCTURE OF FEDERAL COURTS OF SHARIA AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
11. Judges and Other Personal of the Federal Supreme Court of Sharia
1. The Federal Supreme Court of Sharia shall have a Chief Kadi, a Deputy Chief Kadi, as well as the necessary Kadis and registrars.
2. The Federal Supreme Court of Sharia shall have the personnel necessary for its function.
12. The Federal High Court and First Instance Court of Sharia
1. The Federal High Court and First Instance Curt of Sharia shall each have a head, representing the respective court, as well as Kadis and registration necessary for their respective functions.
2. The courts shall have the personnel necessary for their respective functions.
13. Divisions and Place of Sittings of Federal Courts of Sharia
1. There shall sit a single Kadi in each division of the Federal First Instance Court of Sharia.
2. There shall sit a presiding Kadi and two other Kadis in each division of the Federal High Court and of the Suprem Court of Sharia.
3. The Federal Supreme Court of sharia shall sit in Addis Ababa.
4. The Federal High Court and the Federal First Instance Court of SHaria shall sit in Addis Ababa Dire Dawa and in such other places as may be determined under Article 78 Sub Article (2) of the Constitution.
14. Working Language of Federal Court of Sharia
1. Amharic shall be the working language of Federal Courts of Sharia.
2. The Courts shall provide an interpreter, to a party who does not understand Amharic.
15. Open Hearing and Withdrawal of Kadis
1. Federal Courts of Sharia shall hear in open court.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Sub Article (1) of this Article, civil procedure laws pertaining to the administration of justice shall remain applicable.
3. Either of the parties to a case may apply to a Federal Court of Sharia, requesting for the removal of a Kadi sitting in the hearing thereof.
4. Articles 27 to 30 of the Federal Courts Proclamation No. 251/1996 shall be applicable in respect of conditions for the withdrawal of a Kadi against whom a request for removal is made.
16. Criteria for Appointment of Kadis
Any Ethiopian who:
1. Is trained in Islamic law in Islamic Educational Institutions or has acquired adequate experience and knowledge in Islamic law;
2. Is reputed for his diligence and good conduct;
3. Consents to assume the position of a Kadi; and may
4. Is more than twenty five years age;
May be appointed a kadi in Federal Courts of Sharia.
17. Appointment of Kadis
1. The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs shall, upon request by the Federal Judicial Administration Commission, carry out the recruitment of kadis.
2. The Chairperson of the Supreme Council shall prepare and submit, to the Federal Judicial Administration Commission, a short profile of would be Kadis nominated by, and have received the support of the majority of the Council together with the level of their placement.
3. The appointment of Kadis, who are to be placed at any level, shall be approved by the Federal Judicial Administration Commission, upon recommendation by the Presdient of the Federal Supreme Court.
18. Determination of Disciplinary Matters
The Federal Judicial Administration Commission Establishment Proclamation and Administrative Regulations for Federal Judges shall be applicable in respect of determination of disciplinary matters relating to Kadis of Federal Courts of Sharia.
The budget of Federal Courts of Sharia shall be drawn from the following sources:
1. Budgetary subsidy to be allocated by the Federal Government.
2. Assistance from other sources.
PART FIVE THE CHIEF KADI, THE DEUPTY CHIEF KADI AND OTHER HEADS
20. Powers and Duties of the Chief Kadi
1. The Chief Kadi shall, as a superior authority, administer the Federal Courts of Sharia.
2. Without prejudice to the generality stated under Sub Article (1) of this Article, the Chief Kadi shall:
a) Prepare and submit the organizational structure of the Federal Court of Sharia, to the President of the Federal Supreme Court, and implement same upon approval;
b) Give job placements in Federal Courts of Sharia to Kadis so notified to him by the President of the Federal Supreme Court;
c) Put a request, to the President of the Federal Supreme Court, for employment of the personnel necessary for the function; employ same upon approval and give them job placements.
3. He shall submit a bi-annual report, to the President of the Federal Supreme Court, on the performance of the Federal Courts of Sharia.
4. He shall prepare, and submit to the President of the Federal Supreme Court, the work plan and budget f the Courts and implement same upon approval.
5. He shall attend necessary events and give statements on behalf of the Courts.
6. He may, on his own initiative, or suggestions made to him by divisions of the court or upon petitions made by parties to a dispute, direct case involving a basic difference between divisions of the Federal Supreme Court of Sharia, as regards interpretation of Islamic law, to be heard by a division composed of not less than five Kadis.
21. Powers and Duties of the Deputy Chief Kadi
The Deputy Chief Kadi shall:
1. Perform functions referred to him by the Chief Kadi;
2. Act in the Chief Kadi’s stead, where he is absent.
22. Powers and Duties of Other Heads
The respective head of The Federal High Court and First Instance Court of Sharia shall:
1. Represent the court;
2. Direct the functions of the court and administer personnel thereof, in accordance with directives from the Chief Kadi;
3. Submit, to the Chief Kadi, a statistically substantiated statement and a report on the performance of the court as may be necessary; and consult with the Chief Kadi, as necessary, in respect of their functions;
4. Perform such other functions as may be given to him to law.
PART SIX MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
23. Decisions and Orders of Federal Courts of Sharia
1. Federal Courts of Sharia, or all levels, may order that decisions and orders given by them on matters under their jurisdiction, be enforced by executive organs.
2. Any Executive Organ as well as individuals who receives the decisions or orders of any Federal Court of Sharia shall execute or cause the execution of same.
24. Pending Cases
Cases pending in the Addis Ababa and Direw Dawa Courts of Sharia, prior to the coming into force of this Proclamation, shall be transferred to the Federal Courts of Sharia having jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of this Proclamation.
25. Repealed and Inapplicable Laws
1. The Kadis and Naibas Councils Establishment Proclamation No. 62/1994 is hereby repealed.
2. No law, inconsistent with this Proclamation or dealing with matters provided for herein, shall be applicable.
26. Effective Date
This Proclamation shall come into force as of the 7th day of December, 1999.
Done at Addis Ababa this 7th day of December, 1999.
NEGASO GIDADA (DR.)
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Federal _____________ Court of Sharia
Civil Case File No. __________
Name of Party
Address: Woreda _____________________¬______ Kebele _______________________________
House No. ________________________ Tel. No. _______________________________
I confirm, under may signature hereof, that pursuant to Sub Article (5) of Article 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Sub Article (1) of Article 5 of the Federal Courts of Sharia Consolidation Proclamation No. 188/1999, I consent/object to the adjudication of the case, brought before this Court, under Civil Case File No. _____, in accordance with the laws of my religion.
Name of Party ______________
The Confirmation hereinabove stated is made under personal appearance before me.
Name of the Registrar __________________