Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date





Addis Ababa University




The Criminal Procedure Code of 1961 is one of Ethiopia's most recent codes, and one of the least "developed" in terms of published commentary and reported cases. In contrast to the "introduced" and "explained" Penal and Civil Codes, the Criminal Procedure Code has apparently been disowned by its drafters, none of whom have written a word of commentary on it. Its origins remain obscure, and at first glance it is difficult to see which, if any, "system" was its inspiration. In fact, it seems, the Code has roots in no single system, nor even in any single "family" of systems. Rather, it is the product par excellence of an eclectic approach to codification, more than any other Ethiopian code. The importance of this fact is magnified by the consideration that in adjective law even more than in substantive law, it is extremely hazardous to construct a code eclectically, borrowing across the boundaries which divide one legal family from another. The danger is that confusion and inconsistencies will result from mixing in one code of concepts and procedures strange to each other. In this writer's view, precisely this has happened in some parts of the Criminal Procedure Code.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.