Scholar Zerihun Geleta presented his research regarding human rights in Ethiopia at two conferences

10. August 2020
photo of scholarship holder Zerihun Yimer Geleta at his home office in Austria
Ph.D. Candidate of International Law at the University of Graz whose research focuses on the interplay between human rights and development in Ethiopia, has recently presented research papers at two international conferences.

Jurisdictional Quandary between the House of the Federation (HoF) and Courts in Ethiopia” was presented at the World Conference on Social Sciences held from 18th to 20th of October 2019 in Budapest / Hungary. In this paper, he highlights a dilemma regarding the scope of the jurisdiction of constitutional interpretation between the HoF and courts in Ethiopia. He argues that the HoF lacks institutional independence to interpret the constitution. Besides, he provides practical issues in which courts have failed to consider the constitution while deciding cases that affect fundamental rights. He also elucidates the worst scenario in which courts have failed to check the compatibility of executive acts with parent legislation. Thus, he recommends the need for establishing a constitutional court, if not the Supreme Court, responsible for an independent and impartial constitutional interpretation.

Another paper he presented in 2019 is the following:

Assessing the Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) with Particular Reference to the Right to Property, Eviction, and Compensation in Ethiopia”. This paper was presented at The Hague International Conference held from 21st to 22nd of November 2019. In his paper, he explains eviction cases, in particular, the challenge with the broad interpretation of ‘public interest’ affecting the property rights of citizens, including lack of fair compensation and independent oversight mechanisms. Besides, he identifies the impacts of eviction measures on ESCR of citizens, in particular, the right to housing, the right to food, the right to education, and the right to livelihood. He recommends policy and legal reforms that help in balancing the implementation of ESCR with property rights when expropriation is justifiable for the ‘public interest’.

Zerihun Yimer GELETA is a Ph.D. candidate of International Law at the University of Graz. He was nominated for his Ph.D. within the APPEAR project Advanced Academic Partnership for Legal and Human Rights Education | AAPLHRE. His Ph.D. research focuses on the interplay between human rights and development in Ethiopia. Before he joined the University of Graz as an APPEAR scholarship holder in March 2017, Zerihun was Assistance Professor of Law at the Institute of Federalism and Legal Studies of the Ethiopian Civil Service University. Furthermore, he also took part in public lectures, training, public awareness creations, and community services in which he has received recognition and promotion. Moreover, he served as Public Prosecutor litigating before regional and federal courts.