President of the Federal Supreme Court
Honorable Ms. Meaza Ashenafi Message
Respect for the human and democratic rights of citizens requires a strong judicial system that upholds the rule of law. Courts hold the highest positions among the justice organs which has a constitutional mandate to uphold the rule of law. Courts provide justice interpreting the law independently and impartially for illegal actions resulted in the process of executing legal frameworks that are approved by the legislature and enforced by the executive. These courts adjudicating on the principle of their mission guarantee to the peace and security of the country, Human and democratic rights for citizens, and also economic growth and equitable access. To this end, they are expected to be fair and credible judicial institutions.
When I took the office of the Supreme Court, the third organ of the federal government that focused on change, a survey was conducted to determine the current state of the courts. From the survey, I noted that the federal courts have shown improvement in infrastructure, accessibility and service delivery since they were organized in the current structure, but not as much as expected. I have come to realize that low Public confidence in the independence and impartiality of both the individual judges and institution; courts have a long history of organizational and long-term infrastructure shortcomings; and a lack of manpower and modernization. As a change leader, even if the multi-faceted problems of the Courts are not completely resolved in a short period of time; we are working hard to move the courts forward on the path of change by strengthening good start-ups, eliminating the root causes of the problem; and introducing and implementing new and more effective practices. I believe we must continue to intensify our efforts.
In the reform and transformation of courts; legal process, attitude and organizational reform and transformation work is underway especially to ensure judicial independence and impartiality. At the same time, efforts are being made to establish a system of accountability that is inseparable from the independence of the judiciary. And also to improve service quality and efficiency, trainings that builds judges’ and administrative staffs’ capacity and skills. Efforts have been made to make the service delivery more efficient, accessible and cost-effective by supporting it with Information Communication Technology (ICT). The court will also work closely with government agencies to expand infrastructure and build their own high-rise buildings to provide a comfortable working environment and courtrooms. In general, the courts will set priorities to restore public confidence in the process, and special attention will be paid to their implementation.
It is impossible to make Courts gaining public trust and become a guarantee to rule of law by the courts leaders, judges and court’s community single-handed effort. Thus, I call up governmental and non-governmental organizations, development partners, civic associations, lawyers, academics and the general public to play your part in the process of building a judiciary owning transparency and quality of justice that plays an important role in the political and economic life of our country. I declare that the long journey of court reform has been started.