CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC
REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
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 interest 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 fulfil the objectives and the principles set forth above.
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.
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.
The Ethiopian Flag
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.
Provisions of this Constitution set out in the masculine gender shall also apply to the feminine gender.
Article 9 Supremacy of the Constitution
Article 10 Human and Democratic Rights
Article 11 Separation of State and Religion
Article 12 Conduct and Accountability of Government
PART ONE HUMAN RIGHTS Article 14 Rights to life, the Security of Person and Liberty
Every person has the inviolable and inalienable right to life the security of person and liberty.
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
Every one has the right to protection against bodily harm.
Prohibition against Inhuman Treatment
Right of Persons Arrested
Rights of Persons Accused
The Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners
Prohibition of Double Jeopardy
No person shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offense for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the criminal law and procedure.
Right to Honour and Reputation
Right to Equality
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.
Right to Privacy
Crimes Against Humanity
Right of Thought, Opinion and Expression
The Right of Assembly, Demonstration and Petition
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.
Freedom of Movement
Marital, Personal and Family Rights
Rights of Women
Rights of Children
1. Every child has the right:
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:
Rights of Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
The Right to Property
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Rights of Labour
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.(b) Categories of persons referred to in paragraph (c) of this sub-Article has the right to express grievances, including the 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.
Article 43 The Right to Development
Article 44 Environmental Rights
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall have a parliamentarian form of government.
Article 46 States of the Federation
Article 47 Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic
Article 48 State Border Changes
Structure of the Organs of State
Powers and Functions of the Federal Government
Article 52 Powers and Functions of States
THE FEDERAL HOUSES Article 53 The Federal Houses
There shall be two Federal Houses: The House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the Federation.
Article 54 Members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives
Article 55 Powers and Functions of the House of Peoples’ Representatives
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.
Adoption of Laws
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.
Meetings of the House, Duration of its Term
1. The presence of more than half of the members of the House constitutes
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 expire of the House’s term.
4.The Speaker of the House may call a meeting of the House when it is inrecess. 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.
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.
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.
2.The House shall adopt rules and procedures regarding the organization of its work and of its legislative process.
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.
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.
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 of 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.
THE HOUSE OF THE FEDERATION
Members of the House of the Federation
Powers and Functions of the House of the Federation
Article 64 Decisions and Rules of Procedure
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
Article 67 Sessions and Term of Mandate
Article 68 Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership in the Two Houses
No one may be a member of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and of the House of the Federation simultaneously.
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
"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."
Article 71 Powers and Functions of the President
The Powers of the Executive
Appointment of the Prime Minister
Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister
Article 75 Deputy Prime Minister
1. The Deputy Prime Minister shall:
2. The Deputy Prime Minister shall be responsible to the Prime Minister.
Article 76 The Council of Ministers
Article 77 Powers and Functions of the Council of Ministers
Independence of the Judiciary
Concurrent Jurisdiction of Courts
Appointment of Judges
Structure of the Council of Constitutional Inquiry
Interpretation of the Constitution
Powers and Functions of the Council of Constitutional Inquiry
Article 86 Principles for External Relations
Article 87 Principles for National Defence
Declaration of State of Emergency
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 break down 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) Sate 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:
Peoples’ Representatives is not in session shall be submitted to it within fifteen days of its adoption.
assistance and loans do not hinder the proportionate development of States. The Federal Government shall have the power to audit and inspect the proportionate development of States.
Article 95 Revenue
The Federal Government and the States shall share revenue taking the federal arrangement into account.
Article 96 Federal Power of Taxation
Article 97 State Power of Taxation
Concurrent Power of Taxation
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.
Directives on Taxation
Population Census Commission
Any proposal for constitutional amendment, if supported by 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.
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:
2. All provisions of this Constitution other than those specified in subArticle 1 of this Article can be amended only in the following manner:
The Version with Final Legal Authority
The Amharic version of this Constitution shall have final legal authority.