Court hearing on the ETA

April 20, 2008

From the outset, according to the law of the land, two distinct parties with different legal entities could not be addressed and registered by the same name in the country. However, the Ministry of Justice did exactly the same in breach of the law of the land. Thus, the Supreme Court ruled against the authentic ETA before rectifying this breach of law that resulted in perversion of justice.

The registration number for the authentic ETA is 25 but for that of the cloned ETA is 161. Similarly, the authentic ETA was created in 1949 but the cloned one in 1993. In practice, these are two different unions but called in one name due to the illegal act stated above. Despite these hard facts on the ground, the Supreme Court ruled as if there were only one union in the country.

According to the law, when, by one way or another, a civic organization is to be liquidated, its rival is not entitled to claim or inherit the assets of the organization made subject to liquidation but the Supreme Court ruled a verdict that will enable the satellite ETA to possess the property and bank assets of the authentic ETA.  

Where as the Supreme Court recognized the legal status of the cloned ETA by taking one of its General Assemblies held in 1994 as one evidence to prove its legality, the same court ignored similar evidence (General Assembly) held in 1993 and some more assemblies that have been taking place on regular basis since then by the authentic ETA. The Court also failed to take into account the interference of the executive branch of the Government in the internal affairs of the authentic ETA such as the banning of its General Assembly by the government security agents in March and August 2006. In breach of Ethiopia’s commitment to ILO Conventions No. 87, members of the authentic ETA have been denied their rights to Association. Thus, the ruling of the Supreme Court has failed to meet high standard of justice, ignored international obligations of the country and has worsened the violations of Human and Trade Union Rights in Ethiopia.

After hearing the above petitions of ETA’s lawyers, the judges empowered the jurisdiction at the Court of Cessation of the Federal Supreme Court which took some time to exclusively discuss on the issue.  They finally adjourned the matter to the 12th of June 2008 for further investigation. 

It is to be recalled that the court hearing was adjourned from 7th of April/08 to 18th of April/08 since one of the judges who ruled against the authentic ETA at the Supreme Court was also seated at the Court of Cessation on 07/04/08.