A Critical Assessment on Provisions of the Federal Constitution of Ethiopia With Regard to Federal-regional Governments Relationship on Land Law

  • Habib Jemal
Keywords: FDRE Constitution, Land Resource, Federal Government, Regional States, Land Administration, Rural Land Law, and Urban Land Law.


The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopian Constitution has stipulated that the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia are owners of land, which is one of the invaluable resources for the exercise of sovereign and self-determination rights of the people, who are also the building bricks of the federation under the
Constitution. The Constitution demands the existence of land policy that respect and enforce the self-determination right of the people over the land resource. The resource is a subject matter over which both federal and regional governments have power under the Constitution. However, it does not provide a clear division of power between them. The purpose of this article is to analyze the land lawmaking relationship between the two levels of government in light of the
Constitution. The researcher has employed a qualitative approach that is mainly doctrinal legal research. Accordingly, the FDRE Constitution does not require all
Regional States to administer land resources based on a single and uniform land policy of the Federal Government. A central land legislation making process, under the monopoly of the Federal Government, is far from the spirit of the Constitution. The Constitution requires the presence of a decentralized land policy
process that reflects the peculiar land policy interest of each Nation, Nationalities and Peoples. Unlike the practice, the FDRE Constitution demands the formulation and implementation of land policy that is the result of harmonious coordination between the Federal Government and the Regional States. Thus, the Federal Government is not the only source of land law in Ethiopian federal system as land lawmaking is a concurrent power under the Constitution