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Establishing confidence in the judiciary: Why Meaza Ashenafi should lead a process of judicial vetting

Ethiopia's first female Supreme Court President Meaza Ashenafi. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ethiopia's first female Supreme Court President Meaza Ashenafi. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this commentary are those of the staff member. This commentary is independent of specific national or political interests. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the institutional position of International IDEA, its Board of Advisers or its Council of Member States.

The wave of reforms that has dazzled Ethiopia, and the world, has reached the shores of the judicial sector, with the appointment of Meaza Ashenafi as the first-ever woman President of the Supreme Court, and the real-time character that inspired the award-winning movie ‘Difret’ where a young lawyer confronts the tradition of forced abductions into marriage. With Ethiopia tethering on the edge of a new era of democratic contestation, the importance of an independent judicial arbiter of the democratic game cannot be overstated.

Read the complete Op-Ed, published by Addis Standard on 7 November 2018.

About the Author

Programme Officer
Adem Kassie Abebe

Adem Kassie Abebe supports constitution-building processes around the world, and designs and implements projects particularly in transitions to peace and democracy in politically complex and fragile contexts. He convens platforms for dialogue, advises and provides technical assistance to high level constitution and decision makers at national and international levels and to civil society stakeholders. He was an editor of and managed ConstitutionNet from 2016 to 2021, an online platform providing continuous updates on comparative constitutional reform processes around the world. A notable feature of ConstitutionNet is 'Voices from the Field', a series in which local experts provide analysis and updates on the process, content and principal actors in ongoing constitutional-reform proposals.