Oromia Law Journal

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Criminal adjudication by state courts under the FDRE constitution: the quest for compartmentalization of jurisdiction

Abdi Gurmessa Amenu


With the introduction of federal arrangement with the FDRE Constitution, the issue of distribution of powers between the Federal Government and the states in general and that of criminal adjudicative jurisdiction between the Federal courts and state courts in particular has become a controversial point. This controversy has resulted in due to the fact that the Constitution has established a dual court structure. On the one hand, the dualism of the court structure presupposes that the federal courts adjudicate federal criminal matters, where as state courts adjudicate state criminal matters. This principle is accompanied by an exception that the state courts adjudicate federal criminal matters by delegation power. On the other hand, since the federal government has centralized criminal legislative power, it has become controversial how the state courts are adjudicating criminal matters of the federal government: with delegation power or as an original power. This article explores how the state courts are adjudicating federal criminal matters, and how the criminal adjudicative jurisdiction of the federal courts and state courts is compartmentalized.

Keywords: jurisdiction, criminal adjudication, compartmentalization, constitution, federalism

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