“The saying ‘it is better to be [a] defendant than [a] plaintiff’ is still partly true”

“The saying ‘it is better to be [a] defendant than [a] plaintiff’ is still partly true”
Assefa Fiseha (PhD), associate professor of law at Addis Ababa University 

While presenting the legal framework of contractual enforcement in Ethiopia during a seminar prepared by Ethiopian Development Research Institute in collaboration with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce. The seminar was held on April 25, 2014.

He explained that while the constitutional and legal framework for an impartial and efficient court [of Justice] is laid down, the reality is that courts have not been that efficient in ensuring due process or fair and speedy trial to parties.  “The popular saying ‘it is better to be [a] defendant than [a] plaintiff’ is still partly true,” Assefa concluded. 

Contract enforcement is an important factor for investors. Both local and foreign investors see it as a necessity before they spend their money and technology. In a country which has 6,000 judges for 90 million people — which is a 1:15,000 ratio — Assefa said this makes the realization of contract enforcements through the court system very cumbersome.


2nd Year . June 2014 . No.15


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