February 15th, 2011
ETHIOPIAN LAW NEWSLETTER
Wishing you a happy new year we present you our sixth edition of Ethiopian Law Newsletter. Please enjoy it and give us your comment about it.
For further information here is the contact address of our law office.
FIKADU ASFAW LAW OFFICE, K KARE BUILDING, 5TH FLOOR, MOZAMBIQUE STREET, ADDIS ABABA, 150 M ON THE RAS MEKONEN STREET TO GUENET HOTEL, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA.
Telephone: 00251115151290; 00251116551720
Cell Phone: 00251911623555; 00251958001090
Be Careful Of Defacto Divorces without Legalizing the Divorce in Court
Currently, marriage under Ethiopian law is an institution that is to be entered into with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The spouses have equal rights during the entry of, the lifetime and dissolution of the marriage. So when a marriage is dissolved, for any of the legal reasons this legal principle entails various effects for spouses so intending that dictates adherence to legal procedure as the most convenient path to follow.
What is Defacto divorce?
So what is defacto divorce? This occurs when partners in a marriage separate (be it through mutual agreement or one spouses abandons the other) and start leading their separate lives. Though not legally divorced, these people are “divorced” in fact and usually remarry, produce heirs and own property.
Divorce and Division of Common Property under Ethiopian Legal System
When a marriage is dissolved by divorce the issue of division of property will come to the scene. Property in this respect is divided in to two: personal and common property.
1. Personal property – Property possessed by the spouses on the day of their marriage or property they will come across, even after the marriage, through personal donation or succession shall be their personal property. Property they acquire through the exchange of their personal property (even if such property is money), or from money obtained from the sale of such property will continue to be their personal property if they inform the court and recognizes it as being personal.
2. Common property – The primary legal presumption is that all property is common property even if it is registered in the name of one of the spouses unless the spouse concerned can provide he is the only owner. Specifically, all income derived by the spouses, including income they obtain from their own efforts, from the common property they have acquired over the years, income derived from their personal property or donated to the spouses is considered common. And if property obtained by sale of personal property or its exchange if not declared to the court and decided upon, it well be on the moment of liquidation and division
Investing in the Lubricant and petroleum oil business in Ethiopia
According to the Ethiopian investment laws any investor can engage in the areas of lubricant and petroleum oil business, with a very little reservation. These areas of investment open for foreigners also. i.e any foreigners who want to invest either wholly or in partnership with domestic investors can engage in the above areas of investment. However in the area of petroleum only the distribution of the petroleum oil is permitted. The importing of petroleum oil is specifically given to the Ethiopian Petroleum Agency. However the import and distribution of petroleum oil is free to engage for any foreign or local investor …Read more
VAT Exempted Items in Ethiopia
If you have wondered what things are exempted from payment of VAT the following items are the ones provided by the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority as lists of VAT exempted transactions. If you want to know about these items here is the list.
1. The Sale or rent of a dwelling house which has been used for at least 2 years,
2. Financial service,
3. Local or Foreign currencies and warranty distribution or importation except for cents and medals research services,
4. The import of Gold for the presentation to the National bank of Ethiopia,
5. Religious or spiritual related services given by religious institutions,
6. Educational services given by educational institutions and child care given by kindergartens,
7. Electricity, kerosene and water supplies (does not include water processed by Factories)
Period of Limitation in Criminal Cases According to Ethiopian Law
Do you know about period of limitation? Period of limitation means when one person who can be a plaintiff or a defendant has a time limit for raising or presenting a question. Here in below you will find list of period of Limitations listed under the Ethiopian criminal code.
In criminal cases: Period of Limitations in criminal cases are divided into two. They are suit period of limitation and sentence period of limitations. …Read more
The Right to Appeal over a Tax Authority’s Decision
In relation to income tax the Ethiopian Income Tax Proclamation 286/2002 provides the following information.
Even though Income Tax issues are not as familiar as civil cases, any tax payer can appeal on a judgment rendered by the Tax Authority.
If a tax payer has a complaint over a tax judgment the tax payer must fulfill the following criteria to appeal to the tax appellate court.
1. The tax payer must deposit the 50 percent of the due tax payment in controversy to the Tax Authority.
2. The tax payer must appeal within 30 days from the receipt of the notice of the tax judgment or the judgment of the complaint hearing committee. …Read more
Declaration of Absence and its effects under Ethiopian law
Do you know the existence of a concept of absence of a person according to Ethiopian law? So if you are missing for more than two years and no one really knows your whereabouts there is a possibility that you may be declared absent by Ethiopian courts. Below you will find out how it works.
According to The Ethiopian Civil Code Declaration of absence takes place where an interested party applies to the court to declare absence,
The Legal Implications of Declaration of Absence: Since the declaration of absence is equivalent to declaration of death, according to Ethiopian law, declaration of absence has more or less similar effect like death. So let’s see the effects of declaration of absence.
On Marriage: The marriage of the absentee will automatically be dissolved on the day on which the judgment declaring the absence has become final.
On Ones Estate: In case of succession a succession opened after the date of the last news of the absentee shall devolve without taking into account the portion which may eventually be assigned to the absentee. Of course, this happens only in cases where the absentee would …Read more
Normal Hours of Work and Their Possible Arrangement According To the Ethiopian Labour Proclamation
Are you an employer or employee who wants to know your normal hours of work? Here is an important note for you in this regard.
The issue of Normal hours of work is one of the important information an employer or an employee should know about. Because such hours are the basis of the apportionment of working time, according to the needs of an employer organization. When we come to the subject matter of normal hours of work we find the Ethiopian Labour Law Provisions of Normal Hours of work,
Can You Simply Ignore Anybody’s Offer for Business?
Today we will give you a brief idea about silence to a business offer and its implication according to Ethiopian Law.
Before that let’s begin with the following questions.
1. Is silence acceptance or refusal according to Ethiopian law?
2. Are you required by Ethiopian law to specifically refuse or accept any offers of business made to you?
3. What will be the legal implications of your silence to offers made to you?
One may ask if he can simply ignore a business offer according to the Ethiopian law. According to the Ethiopian Civil Code, in a normal circumstance, one can ignore a business offer made to him/her. In other words, in principle Silence doesn’t amount to acceptance. …Read more
Is mistake strong enough to cancel a contract according to Ethiopian Law?
If you want to know if a mistake in a contract can be strong enough to cancel it according to Ethiopian law you might want to read this.
A mistake in an everyday life is inevitable. likewise it is natural to make mistakes when writing a contract. There might be minor or major mistakes involved in a contract. The minor mistakes can be corrected easily. But as for the major ones can be strong enough to cancel a contract.
Of course, the mistake must be Decisive and Fundamental to be considered as a major one. The mistake to be a major mistake that can invalidate a contract should fulfill the cumulative requirements of Decisiveness and Fundamentality. …Read more
Requirements of Form One Should Observe As Per Ethiopian Law
In establishing contractual relationships one should observe the formality requirements of the law. In this regard we will look at the requirements of form one may be required to observe while entering into agreements in Ethiopia.
According to the provisions of the Ethiopian Civil Code though in principle it is possible to enter into contract orally, by conduct, through signs some contracts are required by law to be made in a specific form the failure of its compliance could result in the invalidation of the contract. In other words though Contracting parties are at liberty in choosing the form of their contract under the Ethiopian law, when the law prescribes a special form for specifies contracts, contracting parties should observe it to ensure the legality of the agreement. …Read more
Period of Limitation under the Ethiopian Labour Proclamation
If one wants to know how period of limitation is dealt within the Ethiopian labour law, this note can give you some ideas.
Period of limitation in a labour issue varies based on the nature of claim the plaintiff may have against the defendant.
In a general employment relationship, unless a specific time limit is provided otherwise in the labour law proclamation or other relevant laws, an action arising from an employment relationship shall be barred by limitation after one year from the date on which the …Read more
Probation Period under the Ethiopian Labour Proclamation
Do you want to employ a new employee under probation? Are you new employee under period of probation period? Here is a relevant note on probation under Ethiopian law.
A probation period according to the labour law of Ethiopia is a period allocated for the purpose of testing a person’s suitability to a post in which he/she is expected to be assigned.
Probation period shall be made in writing when the parties agree to have a probation period. This period should not in any case exceed forty five consecutive days.
Alimony/Spousal Support under the Ethiopian Legal System
In most of the civilized legal systems around the world, if one spouse earns more money than the other spouse, he or she is required to pay spousal support. This is usually a payment independent from child support, with the amount being set by the court based on the spouses’ assets, incomes, ages, health, standard of living, ability to be self sufficient, contribution to each others’ career, length of marriage and more.
The revised family code recognizes the need for spouses to support each other during the life time of the marriage. (The Revised Family code arts. 49(1), 210 (a)). However, it seems to shift from this position once the marriage is dissolved, in exception to the support owed to the children concerned, all contact should be severed between the spouses. Either for this or other reasons (non consideration included) the topic alimony is neither referred to nor provided for in the code, barring its existence in rulings concerning the dissolution of marriage.