External Judicial Advisory Council Establishment

By Dagnachew Tesfaye, Managing Partner at DMLF

The Federal Courts Proclamation No 1234/2021 on Article 53 provides for the establishment of the external judiciary advisory council and the details shall be provided by a directive issued by the Federal Supreme Court. As a result, the Federal Supreme Court enacted the Federal Supreme Court External Judicial Advisory Council Directive No 16/2023, effective as of April 12,2023. We shall briefly see the contents of the Directive from its scope,  objective, powers and responsibilities, membership, tenure and accountability.

The Federal Supreme Court by this directive has established a 9 members  external advisory council composed of ex-judges of the federal courts, highly experienced and qualified legal professionals, university Professors who serve in the council for free.The members shall be handpicked by the president of the Federal Supreme Court. The president,  vice president of the Council and secretary shall be appointed by the President of the Federal Supreme Court.

The guiding principles shall be that the Advisory Council shall support administration of the court by providing non-binding recommendations and perform such other functions assigned to it by the Federal Supreme Court. The Advisory Council shall perform its functions by complying with the principle of judicial independence and undertake its function with strict discipline. 

The Advisory council shall conduct researches, workshops, conferences with the aim of making the judiciary accessible, transparent, efficient, accommodative, modern and accountable, and recommend new methods and ideas. In general the Council shall work in the advancement of the judiciary to accomplish what has been assigned to the judiciary by the Constitution.

The Advisory Council shall be accountable to the President of the Federal Supreme Court. The tenure of the Advisory Council shall be 3 years. Depending on the performance, by the decision of the Federal Supreme Court President, the length of service of the Advisory Board can extend to another 3 years.

The Directive also incorporates the working procedure of the Advisory Council, the powers and duties of the President, vice president and secretary of the Council, dismissal of member/s of the council and how plans and reports of the Council are presented. The working language of the court shall be the working language of the Council. Nevertheless, the Council may also use English as a medium of communication.

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