It has almost been 20 years since the Federal Supreme Courts’ (FSC) Conference was founded based on Article 31 of Proclamation No. 25/1988. Article 33 of the Proclamation also bestows upon the Conference various authority and responsibilities to preparing rules and regulation of the Conference, resolving problems in court procedures, facilitating courts’ verdict processes, passing decisions, preparing directives as well as formulating and amending laws to be endorsed in parliament, among others.
Yet, the Conference has not yet been functional. On Friday, a two -day discussion forum organized by the Federal Supreme Courts’ Reform Sub-programme Secretariat was kicked off to discuss and endorse the founding document of the Conference.
Court Deputy President Medhin Kiros said that because of lack of concern, the Conference could not held its ordinary session despite the fact that the Proclamation’s Article 34/3 requires it to do so, at least once a year. This has prevented it from discharging its responsibilities, he added.
The Deputy President also said that the conference could have played an indispensable role in improving the court system in the country. Hence, it is important that it commences its ordinary sessions.
Members of the Conference comprise presidents and deputy presidents of federal and state courts as well as judges at the Federal Supreme Court. The discussion forum was expected to endorse the founding document of the Conference. Yet, the endorsement was postponed as participants raised loopholes and shortcomings to be improved in the founding document.
Despite the fact that the Conference would play a crucial role in improving the court system in the country, there are several legal and procedural shortcomings in its founding document that need to be addressed, they added.
The participants also noted that a concept note that explains why it has taken 20 years for the conference to commence its activities and discusses its duties and responsibilities by taking current contexts into consideration.
The participants then agreed to postpone the endorsement of the founding document to the next ordinary or extraordinary session to prepare a concept note.
Federal Supreme Court JudgeTsegaye Asemamaw told EPA reporters that the basic reason for establishing the Conference with proclamation is that to address loopholes in court proceedings, improve the court system of the country, and set national standard of courts.
Despite its significance, the Conference has not yet commenced its activities, he said, adding: “Had it done so, it would have played key role in resolving the challenges of the country’s court system.”
He also said the conference gained its legality via the proclamation yet, its structure, working procedures and other inputs have to be prepared and fulfilled to commence its activities. This has to be carried out very soon.
BY ABIY HAILU
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