Prosecution of core crimes in Ethiopia: Domestic Practice vis-à-vis International Standards
|PhD ceremony:||Mr T.S. (Tadesse) Metekia|
|When:||February 20, 2020|
|Supervisors:||prof. dr. C.I. Fournet, prof. dr. A.L. (Alette) Smeulers|
|Where:||Academy building RUG|
Between 1992 and 2010, over 5,000 individuals - charged with genocide or war crimes - were brought to justice before Ethiopian courts in four separate sets of trials. This research offers an in-depth analysis of these domestic prosecutions of core international crimes within the broader frame of international criminal law (ICL). As both the national and international systems deal with the enforcement of rules of ICL, the features of Ethiopian law and practice are compared with the rules and practices used in the international arena. This study includes an unprecedented data collection, an in-depth analysis of Ethiopian laws and judgments, a meticulous exploration of relevant international norms and case law, as well as a full engagement with the existing literature on the domestic application of international criminal law. The study concludes that, overall, the Ethiopian prosecutions of core crimes were conducted in a manner that was inconsistent with the applicable standards of ICL. The comprehensive examination of the setting in motion of the Ethiopian prosecutions reveals that the domestic system failed to remove various legal, political, and institutional impediments to the prosecution of core crimes and that this failure was most probably deliberate. If Ethiopia played a pioneering role in the prosecution of core crimes, the trials shared one - admittedly inhibiting - characteristic: they were designed for political reasons and were in reality not meant to comply with international standards.