NEWS: ANOTHER HISTORIC DAY AS ETHIOPIA SUPREME COURT GETS FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT, AND A PROMINENT LAWYER AS VICE PRESIDENT
Addis Standard staffs
Addis Abeba, November 01/2018 – Ethiopia has witnessed another historic milestone following today’s appointment of Meaza Ashenafi, a prominent law professional and women’s rights activist, as the first female President of the Federal Supreme Court. Solomon Areda Waktolla, another respected law professional, was appointed as vice president of the Supreme Court.
Both names were forwarded as nominees by PM Abiy Ahmed to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) this morning and both have received a unanimous vote from the House. Some of the the parliamentarians who spoke during the nomination have also praised PM Abiy Ahmed for his picks based on meritocracy.
Born and raised in Assosa city of the Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, Meaza Ashenafi’s career as a law professional spans over nearly three decades and involves serving as a judge at the federal high court in late 1980s. She was also one of the advisory members of Ethiopia’s constitutional drafting commission in early 1990s. In addition to that Meaza was the founder and executive director of the first women’s right advocacy civil society organization, Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), an association which has been through the thick and thin to provide legal protection to hundreds of women victims of domestic violence. In her early involvement with EWLA, Meaza had successfully defended a teenage girl who was put to trial after she shot to death her abductor, a story which has since been made into a documentary by prominent actress Angelina Jolie.
A graduate of law from Ethiopia’s Addis Abeba University (AAU) and University of Kent in the US, Meaza is also one of the 11 women founders of Enat Bank, a private bank “with a special focus on women.” In her last role before being appointed chief justice, Meaza has worked with the UN country team in Ethiopia as a consultant.
Expressing her happiness about the appointment of Meaza, Dr. Eleni Zeude Gabre-Madhin, another prominent figure, took to her Facebook page and described Meaza as a “fiercely independent, fair-minded, firm- negotiating, clear-headed lawyer with a brilliant incisive mind, yet a gentle and kind spirit.”
Vice President Solomon Areda too hails from a rich legal background and is known among many as a man of principle and integrity. Member of the Hague based Permanent Court of Arbitration, Solomon is a graduate of LLB from AAU, Master of Laws Degree (LLM) from Harvard University Law School, as well as Master of Economic Laws (LL.M.) from University of Amsterdam, among others. He had also served as a judge at Ethiopia’s Federal First Instance Court. Solomon was also running his own law office providing “a full range of legal advisory and litigation services” and consults several institutions throughout Africa on legal matters.Presenting Solomon as nominee, PM Abiy said he was the only one of the four candidates who has accepted this nomination.
On June 29, both Meaza and Solomon were appointed as two of the 13 members of Advisory Council for Law & Justice Reform committee, a committee tasked to help the attorney general’s office to revise Ethiopia’s draconian laws such as the civil society, the anti-terrorism and the media laws. The committee has so far reviewed the civil society’s law and has last week submitted the review to the attorney general’s office. According to attorney general Berhanu Tsegaye, his office will soon submit the reviewed document to the council of ministers following which a draft copy will be sent to the HPR for discussions and eventual approval.
Amb Mike arrived in Jimma today and was greeted by Mayor Mekyu. They discussed ways the U.S. can support increased opportunities for residents of Jimma and beyond to build a bright future in #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/5RTHoYooIv
— U.S. Embassy Addis (@USEmbassyAddis) November 1, 2018
Congratulations 2 @UNEthiopia @MeazaAshenafi , a longtime rights advocate, on today’s historic appointment as President of the Federal Supreme Court of #Ethiopia. PM #AbiyAhmed ‘s Gov sets the bar high 4 #Africa 2 deliver on promise of #genderequality #WomenLead #TheAfricaWeWant pic.twitter.com/GAU8UPm1PX
— AeneasChuma (@ChumaAeneas) November 1, 2018
Meaza Ashenafi is one of #Ethiopia’s most seasoned lawyers and a prominent women rights activist. She was the founder of Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and has served as High Court Judge. She brings a track record of competence and relevant experience to the role. pic.twitter.com/E9ZNtpp6GB
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) November 1, 2018
ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር አብቹ ዛሬ የጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ፕሬዚዳንትና ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንት ለማሾም ወደ የህዝቦች ተወካይ ምክርበት ሲመጣ ከጽሕፈት ቤቱ በእግሩ ተራምደው ነበር የገባው፡፡ ከአራት ኪሎ ወደ አዋሬ የሚወስደው መንገድ ለተሽከርካሪዎች ዝግ ሆኖ አብቹ ከአጃቢዎቹ ጋር በመሆን ባልተለመደ ሁኔታ በእግሩ ከጽሕፈት ቤቱ አንስቶ እስከ ፓርላማው ቅጥር ግቢ በእግር ተጉዘዋል፡፡
ግን ይህ ሰው ማነው?