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Federal Attorney-General Birhanu Tsegaye, deflected questions about possibly removing the Anti-Terrorism Law from the books during a press conference held at his office on Friday.
According to an office publication removing the nation’s most controversial proclamation, placing a more watered down version in the regular Criminal Code and amending the law are all under consideration. During an event publicizing the new legal advisory council, the Attorney General made it clear that the legal and institutional frameworks of the nation will be subject to the recently announced justice reform by the Prime minister.
The status of the current legal system has caused dissatisfaction with many, because they say it gives the nation a bad image and conflicts with the constitution, these were listed by Birhanu as factors leading to reformation of the justice system. “Laws should no more be the weapon of the rulers,” said the Attorney General. “The Anti-Terrorism Law, Nongovernmental Organizations Establishment Law and Media Law are among the priorities”.
The newly organized team, which consists of 13 legal professionals, will recommend the best legal solutions to the government, for the next three years.
Prof. Tilahun Teshome, the renowned professor of laws, and Meaza Ashenafi, a prominent women rights activist and lawyer, were appointed members of the council. In addition, Liqu Worqu, a former government legal research post holder and founder of the Abyssinian Law website is among the younger members of the council.
The council’s role is extended to policy issues and the law school’s curriculum content improvement according to Birhanu.
“The recursion of the members was made considering the educational background, experience, and their public acceptance,” Birhanu said. “They will consult the government without payment but the government will cover their expenses”.
The council’s independence and implementation of its recommendations were said to be complete. The participation of the council is said not to be limited to the Office of the Attorney general but the nation’s entire legal system. In its coming meeting, the council is expected to choose its chairperson.