News from Apr 18, 2018
The constitutional recognition of the Sharia justice system in Ethiopia has given rise to normative and judicial plurality. Both state and Sharia justice systems relate to a distinctive basis of legitimacy or justice; the state justice system is based on the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia while the basis for the Sharia justice system is the divine law of Islam as revealed in the Quran. This paper reflects on the incongruences and incompatibilities in the relation between state justice and Sharia justice systems within the Ethiopian legal system. A closer analysis of the landmark case of Kedija Bashir et al. allows some important insight into the issue of constitutional and judicial review of the decisions of Sharia courts. Here, the objective of the paper is to explore the possible common normative grounds that would provide autonomy for each system, while maintaining a minimal normative standard in the sense of ‘ordre public’.