Case Comment on the Principle of Legality Under Ethiopian Legal System
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Principle of legality in criminal case: a comment on Ethiopian revenue and custom authority’s prosecutor Vs. Ato Daniel mekonin case*
1. Synopsis of the case
The prosecutor of Ethiopian revenue and custom authority (prosecutor here in after) had brought a charge against Mr Daniel mekonin (the accused here after) before federal first instance court, alleging that the accused had been caught while transporting 46.96 KG of crude gold from Ethiopia to Djibouti, between walechit and metahara. The prosecutor asserted that the accused committed contraband crime by infringing custom authority proclamation number 60/97 and 368/2003 of article 2(28) & 66(2) respectively. in addition the prosecutor invoked alternative…show more content… The court had reversed the decision of the appellate court based on the reasoning that there is no rule that dictate the subsidiary law should be publicized and written in certain language. In addition the court asserted that the Ethiopian national bank had enacted this directive based on the power given to the bank by the legislator in accordance with proclamation number 83/93, so as to implement this proclamation.
Before dealing with the issue at hand let me provide general overview of principle of legality, the basic ethical structure governing both the enactment and interpretation of criminal Statutes are the principle of legality. It is commonly represented by the maxim nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege or ‘no crime or punishment without law’.This is a matter of general legislative morality since it requires an individual to be given fair warning of what he or she may or may not do.Moreover; it discourages state use of the criminal law for political rather than social ends.There are four key attribute of principle of legality, which expressed in the legal principle of lexscripta (punishment must be based on written law), lexcerta (the form and severity of punishment must be clearly defined and distinguishable),