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Ethiopia’s Constitution (English)

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This complete constitution has been generated from excerpts of texts from the repository of the
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Ethiopia’s Constitution of 1994

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Table of contents

Preamble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL PROVISIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Article 1: Nomenclature of the State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Article 2: Ethiopian Territorial Jurisdiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Article 3: The Ethiopian Flag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Article 4: National Anthem of Ethiopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Article 5: Languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Article 6: Nationality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Article 7: Gender Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
CHAPTER TWO: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION . . . . . . 7
Article 8: Sovereignty of the People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Article 9: Supremacy of the Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Article 10: Human and Democratic Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 11: Separation of State and Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 12: Conduct and Accountability of Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
CHAPTER THREE: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 13: Scope of Application and Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
PART ONE: HUMAN RIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 14: Rights to life, the Security of Person and Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 15: Right to Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 16: The Right of the Security of Person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Article 17: Right to Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Article 18: Prohibition against Inhuman Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Article 19: Right of Persons Arrested . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Article 20: Rights of Persons Accused . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Article 21: The Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Article 22: Non-retroactivity of Criminal Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Article 23: Prohibition of Double Jeopardy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Article 24: Right to Honour and Reputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Article 25: Right to Equality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Article 26: Right to Privacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Article 27: Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Article 28: Crimes Against Humanity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
PART TWO: DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Article 29: Right of Thought, Opinion and Expression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Article 30: The Right of Assembly, Demonstration and Petition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Article 31: Freedom of Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
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Article 32: Freedom of Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Article 33: Rights of Nationality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Article 34: Marital, Personal and Family Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Article 35: Rights of Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Article 36: Rights of Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Article 37: Right of Access to Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Article 38: The Right to Vote and to be Elected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Article 39: Rights of Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Article 40: The Right to Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Article 41: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Article 42: Rights of Labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Article 43: The Right to Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Article 44: Environmental Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
CHAPTER FOUR: STATE STRUCTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Article 45: Form of Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Article 46: States of the Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Article 47: Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Article 48: State Border Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Article 49: Capital City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
CHAPTER FIVE: THE STRUCTURE AND DIVISION OF POWERS . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Article 50: Structure of the Organs of State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Article 51: Powers and Functions of the Federal Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Article 52: Powers and Functions of States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
CHAPTER SIX: THE FEDERAL HOUSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Article 53: The Federal Houses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Part One: The House of Peoples’ Representatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Article 54: Members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Article 55: Powers and Functions of the House of Peoples’ Representatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Article 56: Political Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Article 57: Adoption of Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Article 58: Meetings of the House, Duration of its Term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Article 59: Decisions and Rules of Procedure of the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Article 60: Dissolution of the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
PART TWO: THE HOUSE OF THE FEDERATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Article 61: Members of the House of the Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Article 62: Powers and Functions of the House of the Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Article 63: Immunity of Members of the House of the Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Article 64: Decisions and Rules of Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
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Article 65: Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Article 66: Powers of the Speaker of the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Article 67: Sessions and Term of Mandate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Article 68: Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership in the Two Houses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
CHAPTER SEVEN: THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Article 69: The President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Article 70: Nomination and Appointment of the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Article 71: Powers and Functions of the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE EXECUTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Article 72: The Powers of the Executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Article 73: Appointment of the Prime Minister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Article 74: Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Article 75: Deputy Prime Minister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Article 76: The Council of Ministers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Article 77: Powers and Functions of the Council of Ministers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
CHAPTER NINE: STRUCTURE AND POWERS OF THE COURTS . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Article 78: Independence of the Judiciary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Article 79: Judicial Powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Article 80: Concurrent Jurisdiction of Courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Article 81: Appointment of Judges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Article 82: Structure of the Council of Constitutional Inquiry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Article 83: Interpretation of the Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Article 84: Powers and Functions of the Council of Constitutional Inquiry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
CHAPTER TEN: NATIONAL POLICY PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES . . . . . . . . 33
Article 85: Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Article 86: Principles for External Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Article 87: Principles for National Defence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Article 88: Political Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Article 89: Economic Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Article 90: Social Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Article 91: Cultural Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Article 92: Environmental Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
CHAPTER ELEVEN: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Article 93: Declaration of State of Emergency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Article 94: Financial Expenditures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 95: Revenue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 96: Federal Power of Taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 97: State Power of Taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
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Article 98: Concurrent Power of Taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Article 99: Undesignated Powers of Taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Article 100: Directives on Taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Article 101: The Auditor General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Article 102: Election Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 103: Population Census Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 104: Initiation of Amendments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 105: Amendment of the Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 106: The Version with Final Legal Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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Source of constitutional authority
Motives for writing constitution Preamble

We, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia:
Strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination, to
building a political community founded on the rule of law and capable of ensuring a
lasting peace, guaranteeing a democratic order, and advancing our economic and
social development;
Firmly convinced that the fulfillment of this objective requires full respect of
individual and people’s fundamental freedoms and rights, to live together on the
basis of equality and without any sexual, religious or cultural discrimination;
Further convinced that by continuing to live with our rich and proud cultural legacies
in territories we have long inhabited, have, through continuous interaction on
various levels and forms of life, built up common interests and have also contributed
to the emergence of a common outlook;
Fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically
unjust relationships and by further promoting our shared interests;
Convinced that to live as one economic community is necessary in order to create
sustainable and mutually supportive conditions for ensuring respect for our rights
and freedoms and for the collective promotion of our interests;
Determined to consolidate, as a lasting legacy, the peace and the prospect of a
democratic order which our struggles and sacrifices have brought about;
Have therefore adopted, on 8 December 1994 this Constitution through
representatives we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us
in a mutual commitment to fulfill the objectives and the principles set forth above.

CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL PROVISIONS

• Type of government envisioned

Article 1: Nomenclature of the State

This Constitution establishes a Federal and Democratic State structure. Accordingly,
the Ethiopian state shall be known as The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

• International law

Article 2: Ethiopian Territorial Jurisdiction

The territorial jurisdiction of Ethiopia shall comprise the territory of the members of
the Federation and its boundaries shall be as determined by international
agreements.

• National flag

Article 3: The Ethiopian Flag

1. The Ethiopian flag shall consist of green at the top, yellow in the middle and red
at the bottom, and shall have a national emblem at the centre. The three colours
shall be set horizontally in equal dimension.
2. The national emblem on the flag shall reflect the hope of the Nations,
Nationalities, Peoples as well as religious communities of Ethiopia to live
together in equality and unity.
3. Members of the Federation may have their respective flags and emblems and
shall determine the details thereof through their respective legislatures.
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• National anthem

Article 4: National Anthem of Ethiopia

The national anthem of Ethiopia, to be determined by law, shall reflect the ideals of
the Constitution, the commitment of the Peoples of Ethiopia to live together in a
democratic order and of their common destiny.
Article 5: Languages

1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition. • Protection of language use
2. Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government. • Official or national languages
3. Members of the Federation may by law determine their respective working
languages.
Article 6: Nationality

1. Any person of either sex shall be an Ethiopian national where both or either
parent is Ethiopian.
• Requirements for birthright citizenship
2. Foreign nationals may acquire Ethiopian nationality. • Requirements for naturalization
3. Particulars relating to nationality shall be determined by law.
Article 7: Gender Reference

Provisions of this Constitution set out in the masculine gender shall also apply to the
feminine gender.
CHAPTER TWO: FUNDAMENTAL
PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION
Article 8: Sovereignty of the People
1. All sovereign power resides in the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of
Ethiopia.
2. This Constitution is an expression of their sovereignty.
3. Their sovereignty shall be expressed through their representatives elected in
accordance with this Constitution and through their direct democratic
participation.
Article 9: Supremacy of the Constitution
1. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Any law, customary practice or
a decision of an organ of state or a public official which contravenes this
Constitution shall be of no effect.
2. All citizens, organs of state, political organizations, other associations as well as
their officials have the duty to ensure observance of the Constitution and to
obey it.
• Duty to obey the constitution
3. It is prohibited to assume state power in any manner other than that provided
under the Constitution.
4. All international agreements ratified by Ethiopia are an integral part of the law
of the land.
• International law
• Treaty ratification
• Legal status of treaties
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Article 10: Human and Democratic Rights
1. Human rights and freedoms, emanating from the nature of mankind, are
inviolable and inalienable.
• Inalienable rights
2. Human and democratic rights of citizens and peoples shall be respected.
Article 11: Separation of State and Religion
1. State and religion are separate. • Separation of church and state
2. There shall be no state religion. • Official religion
3. The state shall not interfere in religious matters and religion shall not interfere
in state affairs.
Article 12: Conduct and Accountability of Government
1. The conduct of affairs of government shall be transparent.
2. Any public official or an elected representative is accountable for any failure in
official duties.
3. In case of loss of confidence, the people may recall an elected representative.
The particulars of recall shall be determined by law.
CHAPTER THREE: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
AND FREEDOMS
Article 13: Scope of Application and Interpretation
1. All Federal and State legislative, executive and judicial organs at all levels shall
have the responsibility and duty to respect and enforce the provisions of this
Chapter.
2. The fundamental rights and freedoms specified in this Chapter shall be
interpreted in a manner conforming to the principles of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenants on Human Rights and
international instruments adopted by Ethiopia.
• International human rights treaties
PART ONE: HUMAN RIGHTS
• Inalienable rights

Article 14: Rights to life, the Security of Person and Liberty
• Right to life
Every person has the inviolable and inalienable right to life, the security of person
and liberty.
• Right to life Article 15: Right to Life
Every person has the right to life. No person may be deprived of his life except as a
punishment for a serious criminal offence determined by law.
Article 16: The Right of the Security of Person
Everyone has the right to protection against bodily harm.
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Article 17: Right to Liberty
1. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty except on such grounds and in
accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
2. No person may be subjected to arbitrary arrest, and no person may be detained
without a charge or conviction against him.
Article 18: Prohibition against Inhuman Treatment
1. Everyone has the right to protection against cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
• Prohibition of cruel treatment
2. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. Trafficking in human beings for
whatever purpose is prohibited.
• Prohibition of slavery
3. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour. • Prohibition of slavery
4. For the purpose of sub-Article 3 of this Article the phrase “forced or compulsory
labour” shall not include:
a. Any work or service normally required of a person who is under detention
in consequence of a lawful order, or of a person during conditional release
from such detention;
b. In the case of conscientious objectors, any service exacted in lieu of
compulsory military service;
• Duty to serve in the military
• Right to conscientious objection
c. Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life
or wellbeing of the community;
d. Any economic and social development activity voluntarily performed by a
community within its locality.
Article 19: Right of Persons Arrested
1. Persons arrested have the right to be informed promptly, in a language they
understand, of the reasons for their arrest and of any charge against them.
• Trial in native language of accused
2. Persons arrested have the right to remain silent. Upon arrest, they have the
right to be informed promptly, in a language they understand, that any
statement they make may be used as evidence against them in court.
• Protection from self-incrimination
3. Persons arrested have the right to be brought before a court within 48 hours of
their arrest. Such time shall not include the time reasonably required for the
journey from the place of arrest to the court. On appearing before a court, they
have the right to be given prompt and specific explanation of the reasons for
their arrest due to the alleged crime committed.
• Right to speedy trial
4. All persons have an inalienable right to petition the court to order their physical
release where the arresting police officer or the law enforcer fails to bring them
before a court within the prescribed time and to provide reasons for their arrest.
Where the interest of justice requires, the court may order the arrested person
to remain in custody or, when requested, remand him for a time strictly required
to carry out the necessary investigation. In determining the additional time
necessary for investigation, the court shall ensure that the responsible law
enforcement authorities carry out the investigation respecting the arrested
person’s right to a speedy trial.
• Inalienable rights
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5. Persons arrested shall not be compelled to make confessions or admissions
which could be used in evidence against them. Any evidence obtained under
coercion shall not be admissible.
• Regulation of evidence collection
6. Persons arrested have the right to be released on bail. In exceptional
circumstances prescribed by law, the court may deny bail or demand adequate
guarantee for the conditional release of the arrested person.
• Right to pre-trial release
Article 20: Rights of Persons Accused
1. Accused persons have the right to a public trial by an ordinary court of law
within a reasonable time after having been charged. The court may hear cases in
a closed session only with a view to protecting the right to privacy of the parties
concerned, public morals and national security.
• Right to public trial
2. Accused persons have the right to be informed with sufficient particulars of the
charge brought against them and to be given the charge in writing.
3. During proceedings accused persons have the right to be presumed innocent
until proved guilty according to law and not to be compelled to testify against
themselves.
• Presumption of innocence in trials
4. Accused persons have the right to full access to any evidence presented against
them, to examine witnesses testifying against them, to adduce or to have
evidence produced in their own defense, and to obtain the attendance of and
examination of witnesses on their behalf before the court.
• Right to examine evidence/ witnesses
5. Accused persons have the right to be represented by legal counsel of their
choice, and, if they do not have sufficient means to pay for it and miscarriage of
justice would result, to be provided with legal representation at state expense.
• Right to counsel
6. All persons have the right of appeal to the competent court against an order or a
judgement of the court which first heard the case.
• Right to appeal judicial decisions
7. They have the right to request for the assistance of an interpreter at state
expense where the court proceedings are conducted in a language they do not
understand.
• Trial in native language of accused
Article 21: The Rights of Persons Held in Custody and
Convicted Prisoners
1. All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and
sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity.
• Human dignity
2. All persons shall have the opportunity to communicate with, and to be visited by,
their spouses or partners, close relatives, friends, religious councillors, medical
doctors and their legal counsel.
• Protection from ex post facto laws Article 22: Non-retroactivity of Criminal Law
1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or
omission which did not constitute a criminal offence at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed on any person than the one
that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-Article 1 of this Article, a law
promulgated subsequent to the commission of the offence shall apply if it is
advantageous to the accused or convicted person.
• Prohibition of double jeopardy Article 23: Prohibition of Double Jeopardy
No person shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has
already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the criminal law and
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• Right to protect one’s reputation Article 24: Right to Honour and Reputation
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his human dignity, reputation and honour. • Human dignity
2. Everyone has the right to the free development of his personality in a manner
compatible with the rights of other citizens.
• Right to development of personality
3. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person.
• General guarantee of equality Article 25: Right to Equality
• Equality regardless of gender
• Equality regardless of skin color
• Equality regardless of creed or belief
• Equality regardless of social status
• Equality regardless of parentage
• Equality regardless of nationality
• Equality regardless of race
• Equality regardless of language
• Equality regardless of religion
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to
the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall guarantee to all persons
equal and effective protection without discrimination on grounds of race, nation,
nationality, or other social origin, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, property, birth or other status.
Article 26: Right to Privacy
1. Everyone has the right to privacy. This right shall include the right not to be
subjected to searches of his home, person or property, or the seizure of any
property under his personal possession.
• Right to privacy
2. Everyone has the right to the inviolability of his notes and correspondence
including postal letters, and communications made by means of telephone,
telecommunications and electronic devices.
• Telecommunications
3. Public officials shall respect and protect these rights. No restrictions may be
placed on the enjoyment of such rights except in compelling circumstances and
in accordance with specific laws whose purposes shall be the safeguarding of
national security or public peace, the prevention of crimes or the protection of
health, public morality or the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 27: Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right
shall include the freedom to hold or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and
the freedom, either individually or in community with others, and in public or
private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and
teaching.
• Freedom of religion
• Freedom of opinion/thought/conscience
2. Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-Article 2 of Article 90, believers may
establish institutions of religious education and administration in order to
propagate and organize their religion.
3. No one shall be subject to coercion or other means which would restrict or
prevent his freedom to hold a belief of his choice.
4. Parents and legal guardians have the right to bring up their children ensuring
their religious and moral education in conformity with their own convictions.
5. Freedom to express or manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to
such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public
safety, peace, health, education, public morality or the fundamental rights and
freedoms of others, and to ensure the independence of the state from religion.
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Article 28: Crimes Against Humanity
1. Criminal liability of persons who commit crimes against humanity, so defined by
international agreements ratified by Ethiopia and by other laws of Ethiopia, such
as genocide, summary executions, forcible disappearances or torture shall not
be barred by statute of limitation. Such offences may not be commuted by
amnesty or pardon of the legislature or any other state organ.
2. In the case of persons convicted of any crime stated in sub-Article 1 of this
Article and sentenced with the death penalty, the Head of State may, without
prejudice to the provisions hereinabove, commute the punishment to life
imprisonment.
• Prohibition of capital punishment
PART TWO: DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS
• Freedom of expression

Article 29: Right of Thought, Opinion and Expression
1. Everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference. • Freedom of opinion/thought/conscience
2. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression without any interference. This
right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of
all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of
art, or through any media of his choice.
• Right to information
3. Freedom of the press and other mass media and freedom of artistic creativity is
guaranteed. Freedom of the press shall specifically include the following
elements:
• Reference to art
• Freedom of press
a. Prohibition of any form of censorship.
b. Access to information of public interest.
4. In the interest of the free flow of information, ideas and opinions which are
essential to the functioning of a democratic order, the press shall, as an
institution, enjoy legal protection to ensure its operational independence and its
capacity to entertain diverse opinions.
5. Any media financed by or under the control of the State shall be operated in a
manner ensuring its capacity to entertain diversity in the expression of opinion.
• State operation of the media
6. These rights can be limited only through laws which are guided by the principle
that freedom of expression and information cannot be limited on account of the
content or effect of the point of view expressed. Legal limitations can be laid
down in order to protect the well-being of the youth, and the honour and
reputation of individuals. Any propaganda for war as well as the public
expression of opinion intended to injure human dignity shall be prohibited by
law.
• Human dignity
7. Any citizen who violates any legal limitations on the exercise of these rights may
be held liable under the law.
Article 30: The Right of Assembly, Demonstration and
Petition
1. Everyone has the right to assemble and to demonstrate together with others
peaceably and unarmed, and to petition. Appropriate regulations may be made
in the interest of public convenience relating to the location of open-air
meetings and the route of movement of demonstrators or, for the protection of
democratic rights, public morality and peace during such a meeting or
demonstration.
• Freedom of assembly
• Right of petition
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2. This right does not exempt from liability under laws enacted to protect the
well-being of the youth or the honour and reputation of individuals, and laws
prohibiting any propaganda for war and any public expression of opinions
intended to injure human dignity.
• Human dignity
• Freedom of association Article 31: Freedom of Association
Every person has the right to freedom of association for any cause or purpose.
Organizations formed, in violation of appropriate laws, or to illegally subvert the
constitutional order, or which promote such activities are prohibited.
Article 32: Freedom of Movement
1. Any Ethiopian or foreign national lawfully in Ethiopia has, within the national
territory, the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence,
as well as the freedom to leave the country at any time he wishes to.
• Freedom of movement
2. Any Ethiopian national has the right to return to his country.
• Requirements for birthright citizenship Article 33: Rights of Nationality
• Right to renounce citizenship
1. No Ethiopian national shall be deprived of his or her Ethiopian nationality
against his or her will. Marriage of an Ethiopian national of either sex to a foreign
national shall not annul his or her Ethiopian nationality.
• Conditions for revoking citizenship
2. Every Ethiopian national has the right to the enjoyment of all rights, protection
and benefits derived from Ethiopian nationality as prescribed by law.
3. Any national has the right to change his Ethiopian nationality.
4. Ethiopian nationality may be conferred upon foreigners in accordance with law
enacted and procedures established consistent with international agreements
ratified by Ethiopia.
• Requirements for naturalization
Article 34: Marital, Personal and Family Rights
1. Men and women, without any distinction as to race, nation, nationality or
religion, who have attained marriageable age as defined by law, have the right to
marry and found a family. They have equal rights while entering into, during
marriage and at the time of divorce. Laws shall be enacted to ensure the
protection of rights and interests of children at the time of divorce.
• Right to found a family
• Right to marry
• Provision for matrimonial equality
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the
intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to
protection by society and the State.
4. In accordance with provisions to be specified by law, a law giving recognition to
marriage concluded under systems of religious or customary laws may be
enacted.
5. This Constitution shall not preclude the adjudication of disputes relating to
personal and family laws in accordance with religious or customary laws, with
the consent of the parties to the dispute. Particulars shall be determined by law.
Article 35: Rights of Women
1. Women shall, in the enjoyment of rights and protections provided for by this
Constitution, have equal right with men.
2. Women have equal rights with men in marriage as prescribed by this
Constitution.
• Provision for matrimonial equality
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3. The historical legacy of inequality and discrimination suffered by women in
Ethiopia taken into account, women, in order to remedy this legacy, are entitled
to affirmative measures. The purpose of such measures shall be to provide
special attention to women so as to enable them compete and participate on the
basis of equality with men in political, social and economic life as well as in public
and private institutions.
4. The State shall enforce the right of women to eliminate the influences of harmful
customs. Laws, customs and practices that oppress or cause bodily or mental
harm to women are prohibited.
5. a. Women have the right to maternity leave with full pay. The duration of
maternity leave shall be determined by law taking into account the nature of the
work, the health of the mother and the well-being of the child and family.
b. Maternity leave may, in accordance with the provisions of law, include prenatal
leave with full pay.
6. Women have the right to full consultation in the formulation of national
development policies, the designing and execution of projects, and particularly
in the case of projects affecting the interests of women.
7. Women have the right to acquire, administer, control, use and transfer property.
In particular, they have equal rights with men with respect to use, transfer,
administration and control of land. They shall also enjoy equal treatment in the
inheritance of property.
• Right to transfer property
8. Women shall have a right to equality in employment, promotion, pay, and the
transfer of pension entitlements.
9. To prevent harm arising from pregnancy and childbirth and in order to
safeguard their health, women have the right of access to family planning
education, information and capacity.
Article 36: Rights of Children
1. Every child has the right: • Rights of children
a. To life;
b. To a name and nationality;
c. To know and be cared for by his or her parents or legal guardians;
d. Not to be subject to exploitative practices, neither to be required nor
permitted to perform work which may be hazardous or harmful to his or
her education, health or wellbeing;
• Limits on employment of children
e. To be free of corporal punishment or cruel and inhumane treatment in
schools and other institutions responsible for the care of children.
2. In all actions concerning children undertaken by public and private welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the
primary consideration shall be the best interests of the child.
3. Juvenile offenders admitted to corrective or rehabilitative institutions, and
juveniles who become wards of the State or who are placed in public or private
orphanages, shall be kept separately from adults.
• Privileges for juveniles in criminal process
4. Children born out of wedlock shall have the same rights as children born of
wedlock.
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5. The State shall accord special protection to orphans and shall encourage the
establishment of institutions which ensure and promote their adoption and
advance their welfare, and education.
• State support for children
Article 37: Right of Access to Justice
1. Everyone has the right to bring a justiciable matter to, and to obtain a decision
or judgment by, a court of law or any other competent body with judicial power.
2. The decision or judgment referred to under sub-Article 1 of this Article may also
be sought by:
a. Any association representing the Collective or individual interest of its
members; or
b. Any group or person who is a member of, or represents a group with similar
interests.
Article 38: The Right to Vote and to be Elected
1. Every Ethiopian national, without any discrimination based on colour, race,
nation, nationality, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion or other
status, has the following rights:
• Restrictions on voting
a. To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly and through freely
chosen representatives;
b. On the attainment of 18 years of age, to vote in accordance with law;
c. To vote and to be elected at periodic elections to any office at any level of
government; elections shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be
held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the
electors.
• Secret ballot
• Claim of universal suffrage
2. The right of everyone to be a member of his own will in a political organization,
labour union, trade organization, or employers’ or professional association shall
be respected if he or she meets the special and general requirements stipulated
by such organization.
• Right to form political parties
3. Elections to positions of responsibility within any of the organizations referred
to under sub-Article 2 of this Article shall be conducted in a free and democratic
manner.
4. The provisions of sub-Articles 2 and 3 of this Article shall apply to civic
organizations which significantly affect the public interest.
Article 39: Rights of Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
1. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to
self- determination, including the right to secession.
• Secession of territory
• Right to self determination
2. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write
and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its
culture; and to preserve its history.
3. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to a full measure
of self- government which includes the right to establish institutions of
government in the territory that it inhabits and to equitable representation in
state and Federal governments.
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4. The right to self-determination, including secession, of every Nation, Nationality
and People shall come into effect:
• Referenda
• Secession of territory
a. When a demand for secession has been approved by a two-thirds majority
of the members of the Legislative Council of the Nation, Nationality or
People concerned;
b. When the Federal Government has organized a referendum which must
take place within three years from the time it received the concerned
council’s decision for secession;
c. When the demand for secession is supported by a majority vote in the
referendum;
d. When the Federal Government will have transferred its powers to the
Council of the Nation, Nationality or People who has voted to secede; and
e. When the division of assets is effected in a manner prescribed by law.
5. A “Nation, Nationality or People” for the purpose of this Constitution, is a group
of people who have or share a large measure of a common culture or similar
customs, mutual intelligibility of language, belief in a common or related
identities, a common psychological make-up, and who inhabit an identifiable,
predominantly contiguous territory.
Article 40: The Right to Property
1. Every Ethiopian citizen has the right to the ownership of private property.
Unless prescribed otherwise by law on account of public interest, this right shall
include the right to acquire, to use and, in a manner compatible with the rights of
other citizens, to dispose of such property by sale or bequest or to transfer it
otherwise.
• Right to own property
• Right to transfer property
2. “Private property”, for the purpose of this Article, shall mean any tangible or
intangible product which has value and is produced by the labour, creativity,
enterprise or capital of an individual citizen, associations which enjoy juridical
personality under the law, or in appropriate circumstances, by communities
specifically empowered by law to own property in common.
3. The right to ownership of rural and urban land, as well as of all natural resources,
is exclusively vested in the State and in the peoples of Ethiopia. Land is a
common property of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia and shall
not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange.
4. Ethiopian peasants have right to obtain land without payment and the
protection against eviction from their possession. The implementation of this
provision shall be specified by law.
5. Ethiopian pastoralists have the right to free land for grazing and cultivation as
well as the right not to be displaced from their own lands. The implementation
shall be specified by law.
6. Without prejudice to the right of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
to the ownership of land, government shall ensure the right of private investors
to the use of land on the basis of payment arrangements established by law.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
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7. Every Ethiopian shall have the full right to the immovable property he builds and
to the permanent improvements he brings about on the land by his labour or
capital. This right shall include the right to alienate, to bequeath, and, where the
right of use expires, to remove his property, transfer his title, or claim
compensation for it. Particulars shall be determined by law.
• Right to transfer property
8. Without prejudice to the right to private property, the government may
expropriate private property for public purposes subject to payment in advance
of compensation commensurate to the value of the property.
• Protection from expropriation
Article 41: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1. Every Ethiopian has the right to engage freely in economic activity and to pursue
a livelihood of his choice anywhere within the national territory.
2. Every Ethiopian has the right to choose his or her means of livelihood,
occupation and profession.
• Right to choose occupation
3. Every Ethiopian national has the right to equal access to publicly funded social
services.
4. The State has the obligation to allocate ever increasing resources to provide to
the public health, education and other social services.
• Right to health care
5. The State shall, within available means, allocate resources to provide
rehabilitation and assistance to the physically and mentally disabled, the aged,
and to children who are left without parents or guardian.
• State support for the elderly
• State support for the disabled
• State support for children
6. The State shall pursue policies which aim to expand job opportunities for the
unemployed and the poor and shall accordingly undertake programmes and
public works projects.
• State support for the unemployed
7. The State shall undertake all measures necessary to increase opportunities for
citizens to find gainful employment.
• Right to work
8. Ethiopian farmers and pastoralists have the right to receive fair prices for their
products, that would lead to improvement in their conditions of life and to
enable them to obtain an equitable share of the national wealth commensurate
with their contribution. This objective shall guide the State in the formulation of
economic, social and development policies.
• Right to equal pay for work
9. The State has the responsibility to protect and preserve historical and cultural
legacies, and to contribute to the promotion of the arts and sports.
• Reference to art
• Right to culture
• Right to rest and leisure Article 42: Rights of Labour
• Right to safe work environment
1. a. Factory and service workers, farmers, farm labourers, other rural workers and
government employees whose work compatibility allows for it and who are
below a certain level of responsibility, have the right to form associations to
improve their conditions of employment and economic well-being. This right
includes the right to form trade unions and other associations to bargain
collectively with employers or other organizations that affect their interests.
• Right to join trade unions
b. Categories of persons referred to in paragraph (a) of this sub-Article have the
right to express grievances, including the right to strike.
• Right to strike
c. Government employees who enjoy the rights provided under paragraphs (a) and
(b) of this sub-Article shall be determined by law.
d. Women workers have the right to equal pay for equal work. • Right to equal pay for work
2. Workers have the right to reasonable limitation of working hours, to rest, to
leisure, to periodic leaves with pay, to remuneration for public holidays as well
as healthy and safe work environment.
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3. Without prejudice to the rights recognized under sub-Article 1 of this Article,
laws enacted for the implementation of such rights shall establish procedures
for the formation of trade unions and for the regulation of the collective
bargaining process.
• Requirements for birthright citizenship Article 43: The Right to Development
1. The Peoples of Ethiopia as a whole, and each Nation, Nationality and People in
Ethiopia in particular have the right to improved living standards and to
sustainable development.
• Right to reasonable standard of living
2. Nationals have the right to participate in national development and, in
particular, to be consulted with respect to policies and projects affecting their
community.
3. All international agreements and relations concluded, established or conducted
by the State shall protect and ensure Ethiopia’s right to sustainable
development.
4. The basic aim of development activities shall be to enhance the capacity of
citizens for development and to meet their basic needs.
• Protection of environment Article 44: Environmental Rights
1. All persons have the right to a clean and healthy environment.
2. All persons who have been displaced or whose livelihoods have been adversely
affected as a result of State programmes have the right to commensurate
monetary or alternative means of compensation, including relocation with
adequate State assistance.
CHAPTER FOUR: STATE STRUCTURE
Article 45: Form of Government
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall have a parliamentarian form of
government.
Article 46: States of the Federation
1. The Federal Democratic Republic shall comprise of States. • Subsidiary unit government
2. States shall be delimited on the basis of the settlement patterns, language,
identity and consent of the people concerned.
Article 47: Member States of the Federal Democratic
Republic
1. Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are the
following:
1. The State of Tigray
2. The State of Afar
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3. The State of Amhara
4. The State of Oromia
5. The State of Somalia
6. The State of Benshangul/Gumuz
7. The State of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples
8. The State of the Gambela Peoples
9. The State of the Harari People
2. Nations, Nationalities and Peoples within the States enumerated in sub-Article 1
of this article have the right to establish, at any time, their own States.
3. The right of any Nation, Nationality or People to form its own state is
exercisable under the following procedures:
a. When the demand for statehood has been approved by a two-thirds
majority of the members of the Council of the Nation, Nationality or People
concerned, and the demand is presented in writing to the State Council;
b. When the Council that received the demand has organized a referendum
within one year to be held in the Nation, Nationality or People that made
the demand;
c. When the demand for statehood is supported by a majority vote in the
referendum;
d. When the State Council will have transferred its powers to the Nation,
Nationality or People that made the demand; and
e. When the new State created by the referendum without any need for
application, directly becomes a member of the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia.
4. Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall have equal
rights and powers.
Article 48: State Border Changes
1. All State border disputes shall be settled by agreement of the concerned States.
Where the concerned States fail to reach agreement, the House of the
Federation shall decide such disputes on the basis of settlement patterns and
the wishes of the peoples concerned.
2. The House of Federation shall, within a period of two years, render a final
decision on a dispute submitted to it pursuant to sub-Article 1 of this Article.
• National capital Article 49: Capital City
1. Addis Ababa shall be the capital city of the Federal State
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2. The residents of Addis Ababa shall have a full measure of self-government.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
3. The Administration of Addis Ababa shall be responsible to the Federal
Government.
4. Residents of Addis Ababa shall in accordance with the provisions of this
Constitution, be represented in the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
5. The special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Ababa, regarding the
provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources and other
similar matters, as well as joint administrative matters arising from the location
of Addis Ababa within the State of Oromia, shall be respected. Particulars shall
be determined by law.
CHAPTER FIVE: THE STRUCTURE AND
DIVISION OF POWERS
Article 50: Structure of the Organs of State
1. The Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia comprises the Federal Government
and the State members.
2. The Federal Government and the States shall have legislative, executive and
judicial powers.
• Subsidiary unit government
3. The House of Peoples’ Representatives is the highest authority of the Federal
Government. The House is responsible to the People. The State Council is the
highest organ of State authority. It is responsible to the People of the State.
• Subsidiary unit government
4. State government shall be established at State and other administrative levels
that they find necessary. Adequate power shall be granted to the lowest units of
government to enable the People to participate directly in the administration of
such units.
5. The State Council has the power of legislation on matters falling under State
jurisdiction. Consistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the Council has
power to draft, adopt and amend the state constitution.
• Subsidiary unit government
6. The State administration constitutes the highest organ of executive power. • Subsidiary unit government
7. State judicial power is vested in its courts.
8. Federal and State powers are defined by this Constitution. The States shall
respect the powers of the Federal Government. The Federal Government shall
likewise respect the powers of the States.
9. The Federal Government may, when necessary, delegate to the States powers
and functions granted to it by Article 51 of this Constitution.
Article 51: Powers and Functions of the Federal
Government
1. It shall protect and defend the Constitution.
2. It shall formulate and implement the country’s policies, strategies and plans in
respect of overall economic, social and development matters.
3. It shall establish and implement national standards and basic policy criteria for
public health, education, science and technology as well as for the protection
and preservation of cultural and historical legacies.
4. It shall formulate and execute the country’s financial, monetary and foreign
investment policies and strategies.
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5. It shall enact laws for the utilization and conservation of land and other natural
resources, historical sites and objects.
6. It shall establish and administer national defence and public security forces as
well as a federal police force.
7. It shall administer the National Bank, print and borrow money, mint coins,
regulate foreign exchange and money in circulation; it shall determine by law the
conditions and terms under which States can borrow money from internal
sources.
• Central bank
8. It shall formulate and implement foreign policy; it shall negotiate and ratify
international agreements.
• Treaty ratification
9. It shall be responsible for the development, administration and regulation of air,
rail, waterways and sea transport and major roads linking two or more States, as
well as for postal and telecommunication services.
10. It shall levy taxes and collect duties on revenue sources reserved to the Federal
Government; it shall draw up, approve and administer the Federal
Government’s budget.
11. It shall determine and administer the utilization of the waters or rivers and lakes
linking two or more States or crossing the boundaries of the national territorial
jurisdiction.
12. It shall regulate inter-State and foreign commerce.
13. It shall administer and expand all federally funded institutions that provide
services to two or more States.
14. It shall deploy, at the request of a state administration, Federal defence forces
to arrest a deteriorating security situation within the requesting State when its
authorities are unable to control it.
15. It shall enact, in order to give practical effect to political rights provided for in
this Constitution, all necessary laws governing political parties and elections.
• Restrictions on political parties
16. It has the power to declare and to lift national state of emergency and states of
emergencies limited to certain parts of the country.
17. It shall determine matters relating to nationality.
18. It shall determine and administer all matters relating to immigration, the
granting of passports, entry into and exit from the country, refugees and asylum.
19. It shall patent inventions and protect copyrights.
20. It shall establish uniform standards of measurement and calendar.
21. It shall enact laws regulating the possession and bearing of arms.
• Subsidiary unit government Article 52: Powers and Functions of States
1. All powers not given expressly to the Federal Government alone, or
concurrently to the Federal Government and the States are reserved to the
States.
2. Consistent with sub-Article 1 of this Article, States shall have the following
powers and functions:
a. To establish a State administration that best advances self-government, a
democratic order based on the rule of law; to protect and defend the
Federal Constitution;
b. To enact and execute the State constitution and other laws;
c. To formulate and execute economic, social and development policies,
strategies and plans of the State;
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d. To administer land and other natural resources in accordance with Federal
laws;
e. To levy and collect taxes and duties on revenue sources reserved to the
States and to draw up and administer the State budget;
f. To enact and enforce laws on the State civil service and their condition of
work; in the implementation of this responsibility it shall ensure that
educational; training and experience requirements for any job, title or
position approximate national standards;
• Civil service recruitment
g. To establish and administer a state police force, and to maintain public
order and peace within the State;
CHAPTER SIX: THE FEDERAL HOUSES
• Structure of legislative chamber(s) Article 53: The Federal Houses
There shall be two Federal Houses: The House of Peoples’ Representatives and the
House of the Federation.
Part One: The House of Peoples’ Representatives
Article 54: Members of the House of Peoples’
Representatives
1. Members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives shall be elected by the
People for a term of five years on the basis of universal suffrage and by direct,
free and fair elections held by secret ballot.
• First chamber selection
• Term length for first chamber
2. Members of the House shall be elected from candidates in each electoral district
by a plurality of the votes cast. Provisions shall be made by law for special
representation for minority Nationalities and Peoples.
• First chamber selection
3. Members of the House, on the basis of population and special representation of
minority Nationalities and Peoples, shall not exceed 550; of these, minority
Nationalities and Peoples shall have at least 20 seats. Particulars shall be
determined by law.
• First chamber representation quotas
4. Members of the House are representatives of the Ethiopian People as a whole.
They are governed by:
a. The Constitution;
b. The will of the people; and
c. Their Conscience.
5. No member of the House may be prosecuted on account of any vote he casts or
opinion he expresses in the House, nor shall any administrative action be taken
against any member on such grounds.
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6. No member of the House may be arrested or prosecuted without the permission
of the House except in the case of flagrante delicto
• Immunity of legislators
7. A member of the House may, in accordance with law, lose his mandate of
representation upon loss of confidence by the electorate.
• Removal of individual legislators
Article 55: Powers and Functions of the House of Peoples’
Representatives
1. The House of Peoples’ Representatives shall have the power of legislation in all
matters assigned by this Constitution to Federal jurisdiction.
• Division of labor between chambers
• Initiation of general legislation
2. Consistent with the provision of sub-Article 1 of this Article, the House of
Peoples’ Representatives shall enact specific laws on the following matters:
• First chamber reserved policy areas
a. Utilization of land and other natural resources, of rivers and lakes crossing
the boundaries of the national territorial jurisdiction or linking two or more
States;
b. Inter-State commerce and foreign trade;
c. Air, rail, water and sea transport, major roads linking two or more States,
postal and telecommunication services;
d. Enforcement of the political rights established by the Constitution and
electoral laws and procedures;
e. Nationality, immigration, passport, exit from and entry into the country, the
rights of refugees and of asylum;
f. Uniform standards of measurement and calendar;
g. Patents and copyrights;
h. The possession and bearing of arms.
3. It shall enact a labour code.
4. It shall enact a commercial code.
5. It shall enact a penal code. The States may, however, enact penal laws on
matters that are not specifically covered by Federal penal legislation.
6. It shall enact civil laws which the House of the Federation deems necessary to
establish and sustain one economic community.
7. It shall determine the organization of national defence, public security, and a
national police force. If the conduct of these forces infringes upon human rights
and the nation’s security, it shall carry out investigations and take necessary
measures.
8. In conformity with Article 93 of the Constitution it shall declare a state of
emergency; it shall consider and resolve on a decree of a state of emergency
declared by the executive.
9. On the basis of a draft law submitted to it by the Council of Ministers it shall
proclaim a state of war.
• Power to declare/approve war
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10. It shall approve general policies and strategies of economic, social and
development, and fiscal and monetary policy of the country. It shall enact laws
on matters relating to the local currency, the administration of the National
Bank, and foreign exchange.
• Economic plans
11. It shall levy taxes and duties on revenue sources reserved to the Federal
Government, it shall ratify the Federal budget.
12. It shall ratify international agreements concluded by the Executive. • Treaty ratification
13. It shall approve the appointment of Federal judges, members of the Council of
Ministers, commissioners, the Auditor General, and of other officials whose
appointment is required by law to be approved by it.
14. It shall establish a Human Rights Commission and determine by law its powers
and functions.
• Human rights commission
15. It shall establish the institution of the Ombudsman, and select and appoint its
members. It shall determine by law the powers and functions of the institution.
• Ombudsman
16. It shall, on its own initiative, request a joint session of the House of the
Federation and of the House of Peoples’ Representatives to take appropriate
measures when State authorities are unable to arrest violations of human rights
within their jurisdiction. It shall, on the basis of the joint decision of the House,
give directives to the concerned State authorities.
• Joint meetings of legislative chambers
17. It has the power to call and to question the Prime Minister and other Federal
officials and to investigate the Executive’s conduct and discharge of its
responsibilities.
• Legislative oversight of the executive
18. It shall, at the request of one-third of its members, discuss any matter pertaining
to the powers of the executive. It has, in such cases, the power to take decisions
or measures it deems necessary.
• Legislative oversight of the executive
19. It shall elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House. It shall establish
standing and ad hoc committees as it deems necessary to accomplish its work.
• Legislative committees
• Standing committees
Article 56: Political Power
A political party, or a coalition of political parties that has the greatest number of
seats in the House of Peoples’ Representatives shall form the Executive and lead it.
• Approval of general legislation Article 57: Adoption of Laws
• Veto override procedure
Laws deliberated upon and passed by the House shall be submitted to the Nation’s
President for signature. The President shall sign a law submitted to him within
fifteen days. If the President does not sign the law within fifteen days it shall take
effect without his signature.
Article 58: Meetings of the House, Duration of its Term
1. The presence of more than half of the members of the House constitutes a
quorum.
• Quorum for legislative sessions
2. The annual session of the House shall begin on Monday of the final week of the
Ethiopian month of Meskerem and end on the 30th day of the Ethiopian month
of Sene. The House may adjourn for one month of recess during its annual
session.
3. The House of Peoples’ Representatives shall be elected for a term of five years.
Elections for a new House shall be concluded one month prior to the expiry of
the House’s term.
4. The Speaker of the House may call a meeting of the House when it is in recess.
The Speaker of the House is also obliged to call a meeting of the House at the
request of more than one-half of the members.
• Extraordinary legislative sessions
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5. Meetings of the House shall be public. The House may, however, hold a closed
meeting at the request of the Executive or members of the House if such a
request is supported by a decision of more than one-half of the members of the
House.
• Public or private sessions
Article 59: Decisions and Rules of Procedure of the House
1. Unless otherwise provided in the Constitution, all decisions of the House shall
be by a majority vote of the members present and voting.
• Quorum for legislative sessions
2. The House shall adopt rules and procedures regarding the organization of its
work and of its legislative process.
Article 60: Dissolution of the House
1. With the consent of the House, the Prime Minister may cause the dissolution of
the House before the expiry of its term in order to hold new elections.
• Dismissal of the legislature
2. The President may invite political parties to form a coalition government within
one week, if the Council of Ministers of a previous coalition is dissolved because
of the loss of its majority in the House. The House shall be dissolved and new
elections shall be held if the political parties cannot agree to the continuation of
the previous coalition or to form a new majority coalition.
• Dismissal of the legislature
3. If the House is dissolved pursuant to sub-Article 1 or 2 of this Article, new
elections shall be held within six months of its dissolution.
4. The new House shall convene within thirty days of the conclusion of the
elections.
5. Following the dissolution of the House, the previous governing party or coalition
of parties shall continue as a caretaker government. Beyond conducting the day
to day affairs of government and organizing new elections, it may not enact new
proclamations, regulations or decrees, nor may it repeal or amend any existing
law.
PART TWO: THE HOUSE OF THE FEDERATION
• Second chamber representation quotas Article 61: Members of the House of the Federation
1. The House of the Federation is composed of representatives of Nations,
Nationalities and Peoples.
2. Each Nation, Nationality and People shall be represented in the House of the
Federation by at least one member. Each Nation or Nationality shall be
represented by one additional representative for each one million of its
population.
3. Members of the House of the Federation shall be elected by the State Councils.
The State Councils may themselves elect representatives to the House of the
Federation, or they may hold elections to have the representatives elected by
the people directly.
• Second chamber selection
Article 62: Powers and Functions of the House of the
Federation
1. The House has the power to interpret the Constitution.
2. It shall organize the Council of Constitutional Inquiry.
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3. It shall, in accordance with the Constitution, decide on issues relating to the
rights of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples to self-determination, including the
right to secession.
4. It shall promote the equality of the Peoples of Ethiopia enshrined in the
Constitution and promote and consolidate their unity based on their mutual
consent.
5. It shall exercise the powers concurrently entrusted to it and to the House of
Peoples’ Representatives.
6. It shall strive to find solutions to disputes or misunderstandings that may arise
between States.
7. It shall determine the division of revenues derived from joint Federal and State
tax sources and the subsidies that the Federal Government may provide to the
States.
8. It shall determine civil matters which require the enactment of laws by the
House of Peoples’ Representatives.
9. It shall order Federal intervention if any State, in violation of this Constitution,
endangers the constitutional order.
10. It shall establish permanent and ad hoc committees. • Legislative committees
11. It shall elect the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House, and it shall
adopt rules of procedure and internal administration.
Article 63: Immunity of Members of the House of the
Federation
1. No member of the House of the Federation may be prosecuted on account of
any vote he casts or opinion he expresses in the House, nor shall any
administrative action be taken against any member on such grounds.
2. No member of the House of the Federation may be arrested or prosecuted
without the permission of the House except in the case of flagrante delicto.
• Immunity of legislators
Article 64: Decisions and Rules of Procedure
1. The presence at a meeting of two-thirds of the members of the House of the
Federation constitutes a quorum. All decisions of the House require the
approval of a majority of members present and voting.
• Quorum for legislative sessions
2. Members of the House may vote only when they are present in person in the
House.
Article 65: Budget
The House of the Federation shall submit its budget for approval to the House of
Peoples’ Representatives.
Article 66: Powers of the Speaker of the House
1. The Speaker of the House of the Federation shall preside over the meetings of
the House.
2. He shall, on behalf of the House, direct all its administrative affairs.
3. He shall enforce all disciplinary actions the House takes on its members.
Article 67: Sessions and Term of Mandate
1. The House of the Federation shall hold at least two sessions annually.
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2. The term of mandate of the House of the Federation shall be five years. • Term length of second chamber
Article 68: Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership in the
Two Houses
• Eligibility for first chamber
• Eligibility for second chamber
No one may be a member of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and of the House
of the Federation simultaneously.
CHAPTER SEVEN: THE PRESIDENT OF THE
REPUBLIC
• Name/structure of executive(s) Article 69: The President
The President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is the Head of State.
Article 70: Nomination and Appointment of the President
1. The House of Peoples’ Representatives shall nominate the candidate for
President.
• Head of state selection
2. The nominee shall be elected President if a joint session of the House of Peoples’
Representatives and the House of the Federation approves his candidacy by a
two-thirds majority vote.
• Head of state selection
• Joint meetings of legislative chambers
3. A member of either House shall vacate his seat if elected President.
4. The term of office of the President shall be six years. No person shall be elected
President for more than two terms.
• Head of state term length
• Head of state term limits
5. Upon his election in accordance with sub-Article 2 of this Article, the President,
before commencing his responsibility, shall, at a time the joint session of the
Houses determines, present himself before it and shall make a declaration of
loyalty to the Constitution and the Peoples of Ethiopia in the following words:
“I ………, when on this date commence my responsibility as President of the
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, pledge to carry out faithfully the high
responsibility entrusted to me.”
• Head of state powers Article 71: Powers and Functions of the President
1. He shall open the joint session of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the
House of the Federation at the commencement of their annual sessions.
2. He shall proclaim in the Negarit Gazeta laws and international agreements
approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives in accordance with the
Constitution.
3. He shall, upon recommendation by the Prime Minister, appoint ambassadors
and other envoys to represent the country abroad.
• Foreign affairs representative
4. He shall receive the credentials of foreign ambassadors and special envoys.
5. He shall award medals, prizes and gifts in accordance with conditions and
procedures established by law.
6. He shall, upon recommendation by the Prime Minister and in accordance with
law, grant high military titles.
7. He shall, in accordance with conditions and procedures established by law, grant
pardon.
• Power to pardon
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CHAPTER EIGHT: THE EXECUTIVE
• Cabinet removal Article 72: The Powers of the Executive
• Name/structure of executive(s)
1. The highest executive powers of the Federal Government are vested in the
Prime Minister and in the Council of Ministers.
2. The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible to the House of
Peoples’ Representatives. In the exercise of State functions, members of the
Council of Ministers are collectively responsible for all decisions they make as a
body.
3. Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution the term of office of the Prime
Minister is for the duration of the mandate of the House of Peoples’
Representatives.
• Head of government selection Article 73: Appointment of the Prime Minister
1. The Prime Minister shall be elected from among members of the House of
Peoples’ Representatives.
• Head of government’s role in the
legislature
2. Power of Government shall be assumed by the political party or a coalition of
political parties that constitutes a majority in the House of Peoples’
Representatives.
• Head of government powers Article 74: Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister
1. The Prime Minister is the Chief Executive, the Chairman of the Council of
Ministers, and the Commander-in-Chief of the national armed forces.
• Designation of commander in chief
2. The Prime Minister shall submit for approval to the House of Peoples’
Representatives nominees for ministerial posts from among members of the two
Houses or from among persons who are not members of either House and
possess the required qualifications.
• Eligibility for cabinet
3. He shall follow up and ensure the implementation of laws, policies, directives
and other decisions adopted by the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
4. He leads the Council of Ministers, coordinates its activities and acts as its
representative.
5. He exercises overall supervision over the implementation of policies,
regulations, directives and decisions adopted by the Council of Ministers.
6. He exercises overall supervision over the implementation of the country’s
foreign policy.
7. He selects and submits for approval to the House of Peoples’ Representatives
nominations for posts of Commissioners, the President and Vice-President of
the Federal Supreme Court and the Auditor General.
8. He supervises the conduct and efficiency of the Federal administration and
takes such corrective measures as are necessary.
9. He appoints high civilian officials of the Federal Government other than those
referred to in sub-Articles 2 and 3 of this Article.
10. In accordance with law enacted or decision adopted by the House of Peoples’
Representatives, he recommends to the President nominees for the award of
medals, prizes and gifts.
11. He shall submit to the House of Peoples’ Representatives periodic reports on
work accomplished by the Executive as well as on its plans and proposals.
• Legislative oversight of the executive
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12. He shall discharge all responsibilities entrusted to him by this Constitution and
other laws.
13. He shall obey and enforce the Constitution.
• Deputy executive Article 75: Deputy Prime Minister
1. The Deputy Prime Minister shall:
a. Carry out responsibilities which shall be specifically entrusted to him by the
Prime Minister;
b. Act on behalf of the Prime Minister in his absence.
2. The Deputy Prime Minister shall be responsible to the Prime Minister.
• Establishment of cabinet/ministers Article 76: The Council of Ministers
1. The Council of Ministers comprises the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime
Minister, Ministers and other members as may be determined by law.
2. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Prime Minister.
3. In all its decisions, the Council of Ministers is responsible to the House of
Peoples’ Representatives.
Article 77: Powers and Functions of the Council of
Ministers
• Powers of cabinet
1. The Council of Ministers ensures the implementation of laws and decisions
adopted by the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
2. It shall decide on the organizational structure of ministries and other organs of
government responsible to it; it shall coordinate their activities and provide
leadership.
3. It shall draw up the annual Federal budget and, when approved by the House of
Peoples’ Representatives, it shall implement it.
• Budget bills
4. It shall ensure the proper execution of financial and monetary policies of the
country; it shall administer the National Bank, decide on the printing of money
and minting of coins, borrow money from domestic and external sources, and
regulate foreign exchange matters.
5. It shall protect patents and copyrights. • Provisions for intellectual property
6. It shall formulate and implement economic, social and development policies and
strategies.
• Economic plans
7. It shall provide uniform standards of measurement and calendar.
8. It shall formulate the country’s foreign policy and exercise overall supervision
over its implementation.
9. It shall ensure the observance of law and order.
10. It has the power to declare a state of emergency; in doing so, it shall, within the
time limit prescribed by the Constitution, submit the proclamation declaring a
state of emergency for approval by the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
11. It shall submit draft laws to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on any
matter falling within its competence, including draft laws on a declaration of
war.
• Power to declare/approve war
12. It shall carry out other responsibilities that may be entrusted to it by the House
of Peoples’ Representatives and the Prime Minister.
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13. It shall enact regulations pursuant to powers vested in it by the House of
Peoples’ Representatives.
CHAPTER NINE: STRUCTURE AND POWERS
OF THE COURTS
• Structure of the courts Article 78: Independence of the Judiciary
1. An independent judiciary is established by this Constitution. • Judicial independence
2. Supreme Federal judicial authority is vested in the Federal Supreme Court. The
House of Peoples’ Representatives may, by two-thirds majority vote, establish
nationwide, or in some parts of the country only, the Federal High Court and
First-Instance Courts it deems necessary. Unless decided in this manner, the
jurisdictions of the Federal High Court and of the First-Instance Courts are
hereby delegated to the State courts.
3. States shall establish State Supreme, High and First-Instance Courts. Particulars
shall be determined by law.
4. Special or ad hoc courts which take judicial powers away from the regular courts
or institutions legally empowered to exercise judicial functions and which do not
follow legally prescribed procedures shall not be established.
5. Pursuant to sub-Article 5 of Article 34 the House of Peoples’ Representatives
and State Councils can establish or give official recognition to religious and
customary courts. Religious and customary courts that had state recognition
and functioned prior to the adoption of the Constitution shall be organized on
the basis of recognition accorded to them by this Constitution.
• Establishment of religious courts
Article 79: Judicial Powers
1. Judicial powers, both at Federal and State levels, are vested in the courts.
2. Courts of any level shall be free from any interference of influence of any
governmental body, government official or from any other source.
3. Judges shall exercise their functions in full independence and shall be directed
solely by the law.
4. No judge shall be removed from his duties before he reaches the retirement age
determined by law except under the following conditions:
• Establishment of judicial council
• Supreme/ordinary court judge removal
• Mandatory retirement age for judges
a. When the Judicial Administration Council decides to remove him for
violation of disciplinary rules or on grounds of gross incompetence or
inefficiency; or
b. When the Judicial Administration Council decides that a judge can no
longer carry out his responsibilities on account of illness; and
c. When the House of Peoples’ Representatives or the concerned State
Council approves by a majority vote the decisions of the Judicial
Administration Council.
5. The retirement of judges may not be extended beyond the retirement age
determined by law.
• Mandatory retirement age for judges
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6. The Federal Supreme Court shall draw up and submit to the House of Peoples’
Representatives for approval the budget of the Federal courts, and upon
approval administer the budget.
7. Budgets of State courts shall be determined by the respective State Council. The
House of Peoples’ Representatives shall allocate compensatory budgets for
States whose Supreme and High courts concurrently exercise the jurisdictions
of the Federal High Court and Federal First-Instance Courts.
Article 80: Concurrent Jurisdiction of Courts
1. The Federal Supreme Court shall have the highest and final judicial power over
Federal matters.
2. State Supreme Courts shall have the highest and final judicial power over State
matters. They shall also exercise the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
3. Notwithstanding the Provisions of sub-Articles 1 and 2 of this Article;
a. The Federal Supreme Court has a power of cassation over any final court
decision containing a basic error of law. Particulars shall be determined by
law.
b. The State Supreme Court has power of cassation over any final court
decision on State matters which contains a basic error of law. Particulars
shall be determined by law.
4. State High Courts shall, in addition to State jurisdiction, exercise the jurisdiction
of the Federal First-Instance Court.
5. Decisions rendered by a State High Court exercising the jurisdiction of the
Federal First-Instance Court are appealable to the State Supreme Court.
• Right to appeal judicial decisions
6. Decisions rendered by a State Supreme Court on Federal matters are
appealable to the Federal Supreme Court.
• Right to appeal judicial decisions
• Supreme court selection Article 81: Appointment of Judges
• Establishment of judicial council
1. The President and Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court shall, upon
recommendation by the Prime Minister, be appointed by the House of People’s
Representatives.
2. Regarding other Federal judges, the Prime Minister shall submit to the House of
Peoples’ Representatives for appointment candidates selected by the Federal
Judicial Administration Council.
3. The State Council shall, upon recommendation by the Chief Executive of the
State, appoint the President and Vice-President of the State Supreme Court.
• Ordinary court selection
4. State Supreme and High Court judges shall, upon recommendation by the State
Judicial Administration Council, be appointed by the State Council. The State
Judicial Administration Council, before submitting nominations to the State
Council, has the responsibility to solicit and obtain the views of the Federal
Judicial Administration Council on the nominees and to forward those views
along with its recommendations. If the Federal Judicial Administration Council
does not submit its views within three months, the State Council may grant the
appointments.
• Ordinary court selection
5. Judges of State First-Instance Courts shall, upon recommendation by the State
Judicial Administration Council, be appointed by the State Council.
• Ordinary court selection
6. Matters of code of professional conduct and discipline as well as transfer of
judges of any court shall be determined by the concerned Judicial
Administration Council.
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Article 82: Structure of the Council of Constitutional
Inquiry
1. The Council of Constitutional Inquiry is established by this Constitution.
2. The Council of Constitutional Inquiry shall have eleven members comprising:
a. The President of the Federal Supreme Court, who shall serve as its
President;
b. The Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court, who shall serve as its
Vice-President;
c. Six legal experts, appointed by the President of the Republic on
recommendation by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, who shall have
proven professional competence and high moral standing;
d. Three persons designated by the House of the Federation from among its
members.
3. The Council of Constitutional Inquiry shall establish organizational structure
which can ensure expeditious execution of its responsibilities.
Article 83: Interpretation of the Constitution
1. All constitutional disputes shall be decided by the House of the Federation. • Constitutional interpretation
2. The House of the Federation shall, within thirty days of receipt, decide a
constitutional dispute submitted to it by the Council of Constitutional Inquiry.
Article 84: Powers and Functions of the Council of
Constitutional Inquiry
1. The Council of Constitutional Inquiry shall have powers to investigate
constitutional disputes. Should the Council, upon consideration of the matter,
find it necessary to interpret the Constitution, it shall submit its
recommendations thereon to the House of the Federation.
• Constitutional interpretation
2. Where any Federal or State law is contested as being unconstitutional and such
a dispute is submitted to it by any court or interested party, the Council shall
consider the matter and submit it to the House of the Federation for a final
decision.
• Constitutionality of legislation
3. When issues of constitutional interpretation arise in the courts, the Council
shall:
a. Remand the case to the concerned court if it finds there is no need for
constitutional interpretation; the interested party, if dissatisfied with the
decision of the Council, may appeal to the House of the Federation.
b. Submit its recommendations to the House of the Federation for a final
decision if it believes there is a need for constitutional interpretation.
4. The Council shall draft its rules of procedure and submit them to the House of
the Federation; and implement them upon approval.
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CHAPTER TEN: NATIONAL POLICY
PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES
Article 85: Objectives
1. Any organ of Government shall, in the implementation of the Constitution, other
laws and public policies, be guided by the principles and objectives specified
under this Chapter.
2. The term “Government” in this Chapter shall mean a Federal or State
government as the case may be.
Article 86: Principles for External Relations
1. To promote policies of foreign relations based on the protection of national
interests and respect for the sovereignty of the country.
2. To promote mutual respect for national sovereignty and equality of states and
noninterference in the internal affairs of other states.
3. To ensure that the foreign relation policies of the country are based on mutual
interests and equality of states as well as that international agreements
promote the interests of Ethiopia.
4. To observe international agreements which ensure respect for Ethiopia’s
sovereignty and are not contrary to the interests of its Peoples.
5. To forge and promote ever growing economic union and fraternal relations of
Peoples with Ethiopia’s neighbors and other African countries.
6. To seek and support peaceful solutions to international disputes.
• Restrictions on the armed forces Article 87: Principles for National Defence
1. The composition of the national armed forces shall reflect the equitable
representation of the Nations. Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia.
2. The Minister of Defence shall be a civilian. • Restrictions on minister of defense
3. The armed forces shall protect the sovereignty of the country and carry out any
responsibilities as may be assigned to them under any state of emergency
declared in accordance with the Constitution.
4. The armed forces shall at all times obey and respect the Constitution.
5. The armed forces shall carry out their functions free of any partisanship to any
political organization(s).
Article 88: Political Objectives
1. Guided by democratic principles, Government shall promote and support the
People’s self-rule at all levels.
2. Government shall respect the identity of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples.
Accordingly Government shall have the duty to strengthen ties of equality, unity
and fraternity among them.
• Reference to fraternity/solidarity
• Right to reasonable standard of living Article 89: Economic Objectives
1. Government shall have the duty to formulate policies which ensure that all
Ethiopians can benefit from the country’s legacy of intellectual and material
resources.
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2. Government has the duty to ensure that all Ethiopians get equal opportunity to
improve their economic conditions and to promote equitable distribution of
wealth among them.
3. Government shall take measures to avert any natural and man-made disasters,
and, in the event of disasters, to provide timely assistance to the victims.
4. Government shall provide special assistance to Nations, Nationalities, and
Peoples least advantaged in economic and social development.
• State support for the elderly
• State support for the unemployed
• State support for the disabled
• State support for children
• Provisions for wealth redistribution 5. Government has the duty to hold, on behalf of the People, land and other natural
resources and to deploy them for their common benefit and development. • Ownership of natural resources
6. Government shall at all times promote the participation of the People in the
formulation of national development policies and programmes; it shall also have
the duty to support the initiatives of the People in their development
endeavours.
7. Government shall ensure the participation of women in equality with men in all
economic and social development endeavours.
8. Government shall endeavour to protect and promote the health, welfare and
living standards of the working population of the country.
Article 90: Social Objectives
1. To the extent the country’s resources permit, policies shall aim to provide all
Ethiopians access to public health and education, clean water, housing, food and
social security.
• Right to health care
• Right to shelter
2. Education shall be provided in a manner that is free from any religious influence,
political partisanship or cultural prejudices.
• Right to culture Article 91: Cultural Objectives
• Human dignity
1. Government shall have the duty to support, on the basis of equality, the growth
and enrichment of cultures and traditions that are compatible with fundamental
rights, human dignity, democratic norms and ideals, and the provisions of the
Constitution.
2. Government and all Ethiopian citizens shall have the duty to protect the
country’s natural endowment, historical sites and objects.
3. Government shall have the duty, to the extent its resources permit, to support
the development of the arts, science and technology.
• Reference to art
• Reference to science
• Protection of environment Article 92: Environmental Objectives
1. Government shall endeavour to ensure that all Ethiopians live in a clean and
healthy environment.
2. The design and implementation of programmes and projects of development
shall not damage or destroy the environment.
3. People have the right to full consultation and to the expression of views in the
planning and implementation of environmental policies and projects that affect
them directly.
4. Government and citizens shall have the duty to protect the environment.
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CHAPTER ELEVEN: MISCELLANEOUS
PROVISIONS
• Emergency provisions Article 93: Declaration of State of Emergency
• Head of government decree power
1. a. The Council of Ministers of the Federal Government shall have the power to
decree a state of emergency should an external invasion, a breakdown of law
and order which endangers the constitutional order and which cannot be
controlled by the regular law enforcement agencies and personnel, a natural
disaster, or an epidemic occur.
b. State executives can decree a State-wide state of emergency should a natural
disaster or an epidemic occur. Particulars shall be determined in State
Constitutions to be promulgated in conformity with this Constitution.
2. A state of emergency declared in accordance with sub-Article 1(a) of this Article:
a. If declared when the House of Peoples’ Representatives is in session, the
decree shall be submitted to the House within forty-eight hours of its
declaration. The decree, if not approved by a two-thirds majority vote of
members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives, shall be repealed
forthwith.
b. Subject to the required vote of approval set out in (a) of this sub-Article, the
decree declaring a state of emergency when the House of peoples’
Representatives is not in session shall be submitted to it within fifteen days
of its adoption.
3. A state of emergency decreed by the Council of Ministers, if approved by the
House of Peoples’ Representatives, can remain in effect up to six months. The
House of Peoples’ Representatives may, by a two-thirds majority vote, allow the
state of emergency proclamation to be renewed every four months successively.
4. a. When a state of emergency is declared, the Council of Ministers shall, in
accordance with regulations it issues, have all necessary power to protect the
country’s peace and sovereignty, and to maintain public security, law and order.
b. The Council of Ministers shall have the power to suspend such political and
democratic rights contained in this Constitution to the extent necessary to avert
the conditions that required the declaration of a state of emergency.
c. In the exercise of its emergency powers the Council of Ministers cannot,
however, suspend or limit the rights provided for in Articles 1, 18, 25, and
sub-Articles 1 and 2 of Article 39 of this Constitution.
5. The House of Peoples’ Representatives, while declaring a state of emergency,
shall simultaneously establish a State of Emergency Inquiry Board, comprising of
seven persons to be chosen and assigned by the House from among its members
and from legal experts.
6. The State of Emergency Inquiry Board shall have the following powers and
responsibilities:
a. To make public within one month the names of all individuals arrested on
account of the state of emergency together with the reasons for their
arrest.
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b. To inspect and follow up that no measure taken during the state of
emergency is inhumane.
c. To recommend to the Prime Minister or to the Council of Ministers
corrective measures if it finds any case of inhumane treatment.
d. To ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of inhumane acts.
e. To submit its views to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on a request
to extend the duration of the state of emergency.
Article 94: Financial Expenditures
1. The Federal Government and the States shall respectively bear all financial
expenditures necessary to carry out all responsibilities and functions assigned
to them by law. Unless otherwise agreed upon, the financial expenditures
required for the carrying out of any delegated function by a State shall be borne
by the delegating party.
2. The Federal Government may grant to States emergency, rehabilitation and
development assistance and loans, due care being taken that such assistance
and loans do not hinder the proportionate development of States. The Federal
Government shall have the power to audit and inspect the proper utilization of
subsidies it grants to the States.
• Subsidiary unit government Article 95: Revenue
The Federal Government and the States shall share revenue taking the federal
arrangement into account.
Article 96: Federal Power of Taxation
1. The Federal Government shall levy and collect custom duties, taxes and other
charges on imports and exports.
2. It shall levy and collect income tax on employees of the Federal Government and
international organizations.
• International organizations
3. It shall levy and collect income, profit, sales and excise taxes on enterprises
owned by the Federal Government.
4. It shall tax the income and winnings of national lotteries and other games of
chance.
5. It shall levy and collect taxes on the income of air, rail and sea transport services.
6. It shall levy and collect taxes on income of houses and properties owned by the
Federal Government; it shall fix rents.
7. It shall determine and collect fees and charges relating to licenses issued and
services rendered by organs of the Federal Government.
8. It shall levy and collect taxes on monopolies.
9. It shall levy and collect Federal stamp duties.
Article 97: State Power of Taxation
1. States shall levy and collect income taxes on employees of the State and of
private enterprises.
2. States shall determine and collect fees for land usufractuary rights.
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3. States shall levy and collect taxes on the incomes of private farmers and farmers
incorporated in cooperative associations.
4. States shall levy and collect profit and sales taxes on individual traders carrying
out a business within their territory.
5. States shall levy and collect taxes on income from transport services rendered
on waters within their territory.
6. They shall levy and collect taxes on income derived from private houses and
other properties within the State. They shall collect rent on houses and other
properties they own.
7. States shall levy and collect profit, sales, excise and personal income taxes on
income of enterprises owned by the States.
8. Consistent with the provisions sub-Article 3 of Article 98, States shall levy and
collect taxes on income derived from mining operations, and royalties and land
rentals on such operations.
9. They shall determine and collect fees and charges relating to licenses issued and
services rendered by State organs.
10. They shall fix and collect royalty for use of forest resources.
Article 98: Concurrent Power of Taxation
1. The Federal Government and the States shall jointly levy and collect profit,
sales, excise and personal income taxes on enterprises they jointly establish.
2. They shall jointly levy and collect taxes on the profits of companies and on
dividends due to shareholders.
3. They shall jointly levy and collect taxes on incomes derived from large-scale
mining and all petroleum and gas operations, and royalties on such operations.
• Joint meetings of legislative chambers Article 99: Undesignated Powers of Taxation
The House of the Federation and the House of Peoples’ Representatives shall, in a
joint session, determine by a two-thirds majority vote on the exercise of powers of
taxation which have not been specifically provided for in the Constitution.
Article 100: Directives on Taxation
1. In exercising their taxing powers, States and the Federal Government shall
ensure that any tax is related to the source of revenue taxed and that it is
determined following proper considerations.
2. They shall ensure that the tax does not adversely affect their relationship and
that the rate and amount of taxes shall be commensurate with services the taxes
help deliver.
3. Neither States nor the Federal Government shall levy and collect taxes on each
other’s property unless it is a profit-making enterprise.
Article 101: The Auditor General
1. The Auditor General shall, upon recommendation of the Prime Minister, be
appointed by the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
2. The Auditor General shall audit and inspect the accounts of ministries and other
agencies of the Federal Government to ensure that expenditures are properly
made for activities carried out during the fiscal year and in accordance with the
approved allocations, and submit his reports thereon to the House of Peoples’
Representatives.
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3. The Auditor General shall draw up and submit for approval to the House of
Peoples’ Representatives his office’s annual budget.
4. The details of functions of the Auditor General shall be determined by law.
Article 102: Election Board
1. There shall be established a National Election Board independent of any
influence, to conduct in an impartial manner free and fair election in Federal and
State constituencies.
• Electoral commission
2. Members of the Board shall be appointed by the House of Peoples’
Representatives upon recommendation of the Prime Minister. Particulars shall
be determined by law.
• Electoral commission
Article 103: Population Census Commission
1. There shall be established a National Census Commission that shall conduct a
population census periodically.
• Census
2. Members of the National Census Commission shall be appointed by the House
of Peoples’ Representatives upon recommendation of the Prime Minister.
• Census
3. The Commission shall have a Secretary General and necessary professional and
support staff.
4. The annual budget of the Commission shall be submitted for approval to the
House of Peoples’ Representatives.
5. A national population census shall be conducted every ten years. The House of
the Federation shall determine the boundaries of constituencies on the basis of
the census results and a proposal submitted to the House by the National
Election Board.
• Census
• Electoral districts
6. The Commission shall be accountable to the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
It shall submit to the House periodic reports on the conduct of its programmes
and activities.
• Constitution amendment procedure Article 104: Initiation of Amendments
Any proposal for constitutional amendment, if supported by a two-thirds majority
vote in the House of Peoples’ Representatives, or by a two-thirds majority vote in
the House of the Federation or when one-third of the State Councils of the member
States of the Federation, by a majority vote in each Council have supported it, shall
be submitted for discussion and decision to the general public and to those whom
the amendment of the Constitution concerns.
• Constitution amendment procedure Article 105: Amendment of the Constitution
1. All rights and freedoms specified in Chapter Three of this Constitution, this very
Article, and Article 104 can be amended only in the following manner:
a. When all State Councils, by a majority vote, approve the proposed
amendment;
b. When the House of Peoples’ Representatives, by a two-thirds majority
vote, approves the proposed amendment; and
c. When the House of the Federation, by a two-thirds majority vote, approves
the proposed amendment.
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2. All provisions of this Constitution other than those specified in sub-Article 1 of
this Article can be amended only in the following manner:
a. When the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the
Federation, in a joint session, approve a proposed amendment by a
two-thirds majority vote; and
• Joint meetings of legislative chambers
b. When two-thirds of the Councils of the member States of the Federation
approve the proposed amendment by majority votes.
Article 106: The Version with Final Legal Authority
The Amharic version of this Constitution shall have final legal authority.
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Topic index
A
Approval of general legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
B
Budget bills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
C
Cabinet removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Census . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Central bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Civil service recruitment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Claim of universal suffrage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Conditions for revoking citizenship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Constitution amendment procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Constitutional interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Constitutionality of legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
D
Deputy executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Designation of commander in chief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Dismissal of the legislature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Division of labor between chambers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Duty to obey the constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Duty to serve in the military . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
E
Economic plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 29
Electoral commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Electoral districts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Eligibility for cabinet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Eligibility for first chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Eligibility for second chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Emergency provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Equality regardless of creed or belief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of nationality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of parentage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of skin color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Equality regardless of social status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
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Establishment of cabinet/ministers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Establishment of judicial council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30, 31
Establishment of religious courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Extraordinary legislative sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
F
First chamber representation quotas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
First chamber reserved policy areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
First chamber selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Foreign affairs representative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Freedom of assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Freedom of association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Freedom of expression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Freedom of movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Freedom of opinion/thought/conscience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 12
Freedom of press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Freedom of religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
G
General guarantee of equality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
H
Head of government decree power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Head of government powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Head of government selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Head of government’s role in the legislature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Head of state powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Head of state selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Head of state term length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Head of state term limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Human dignity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 11, 12, 13, 34
Human rights commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
I
Immunity of legislators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23, 26
Inalienable rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 9
Initiation of general legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
International human rights treaties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
International law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6, 7
International organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
J
Joint meetings of legislative chambers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 27, 37, 39
Judicial independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
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L
Legal status of treaties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Legislative committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 26
Legislative oversight of the executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 28
Limits on employment of children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
M
Mandatory retirement age for judges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Motives for writing constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
N
Name/structure of executive(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27, 28
National anthem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
National capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
National flag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
O
Official or national languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Official religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Ombudsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Ordinary court selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Ownership of natural resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
P
Power to declare/approve war . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23, 29
Power to pardon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Powers of cabinet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Presumption of innocence in trials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Privileges for juveniles in criminal process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Prohibition of capital punishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Prohibition of cruel treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Prohibition of double jeopardy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Prohibition of slavery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Protection from ex post facto laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Protection from expropriation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Protection from self-incrimination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Protection of environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18, 34
Protection of language use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Provision for matrimonial equality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Provisions for intellectual property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Provisions for wealth redistribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Public or private sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Q
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Quorum for legislative sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 25, 26
R
Reference to art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 17, 34
Reference to fraternity/solidarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Reference to science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Referenda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Regulation of evidence collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Removal of individual legislators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Requirements for birthright citizenship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 13, 18
Requirements for naturalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 13
Restrictions on minister of defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Restrictions on political parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Restrictions on the armed forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Restrictions on voting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Right of petition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Right to appeal judicial decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 31
Right to choose occupation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Right to conscientious objection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Right to counsel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Right to culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 34
Right to development of personality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Right to equal pay for work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Right to examine evidence/ witnesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Right to form political parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Right to found a family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Right to health care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 34
Right to information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Right to join trade unions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Right to life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Right to marry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Right to own property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Right to pre-trial release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Right to privacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Right to protect one’s reputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Right to public trial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Right to reasonable standard of living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18, 33
Right to renounce citizenship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Right to rest and leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Right to safe work environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Right to self determination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Right to shelter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Right to speedy trial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Right to strike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
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Right to transfer property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 16, 17
Right to work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Rights of children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
S
Secession of territory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15, 16
Second chamber representation quotas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Second chamber selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Secret ballot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Separation of church and state . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Source of constitutional authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Standing committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
State operation of the media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
State support for children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15, 17, 34
State support for the disabled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 34
State support for the elderly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 34
State support for the unemployed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 34
Structure of legislative chamber(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Structure of the courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Subsidiary unit government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18, 20, 21, 36
Supreme court selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Supreme/ordinary court judge removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
T
Telecommunications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Term length for first chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Term length of second chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Treaty ratification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 21, 24
Trial in native language of accused . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 10
Type of government envisioned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
V
Veto override procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

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