The ceremony marked that the federal supreme court of Ethiopia, as well as four regional supreme courts, had succeeded in drastically reducing what used to be severe backlogs of case files within the judiciary. These results have been realized through cooperation and support from the Ethiopian organization «Justice for All - Prison Fellowship Ethiopia» (JFA – PFE), which has assisted the courts through the provision of additional resources and capacity in order to curb the backlog. The presidents for the regional supreme courts in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and SNNPR were also present at the ceremony, as well as the Dutch Embassy, which together with Norway has been supporting the activities financially.
The Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa has been supporting JFA-PFE since 2013. The organization is primarily focusing on capacity building and human rights training in the Ethiopian justice sector, with a view to enable a more efficient and effective justice sector that all the while safeguards human rights. Chief Justice Tegene and his colleagues from the regional supreme courts all underlined the importance of the support from JFA-PFE in order to enable the judiciary to efficiently provided services to its citizens. “Previously, the back log extended more than 15 years back. Today, we might consider tit a backlog as soon as a case dates more than 6 months back”, Ato Tegene explained.
The Norwegian support to capacity building in the justice sector is a cornerstone corner stone in our broader engagement within governance and human rights in Ethiopia. Human rights and the rule of law are central principles in Norwegian foreign policy. An effective and efficient justice sector plays a fundamental role in securing the well-functioning of other sectors in society.