Volume 7 Issue 2 (2018)

Individual and State Land Dispute Management Aystem in Ethiopia: Appraisal of the Legislative Framework

pp. 96-107  |  Published Online: July 2018  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2018.72.2

Muhammed Kebie Hillo


Land dispute composes various types of dispute which range from a simple boundary dispute to a wider ownership rights claim. In Ethiopia, the right to own rural and urban land as well as natural resources belongs to the state and the people. Land is a source of dispute in Ethiopia, just as in other parts of the world. The issue of land dispute between individuals and the state in Ethiopia arises when there is an expropriation of individual land holding by the state. An appraisal of existing legislation governing the dispute settlement mechanism in Ethiopia in line with property rights theories demonstrates that there is a limitation on the subject matter of the complaint; that the administrative body to hear grievances is not independent as it is politically appointed; and, individual disputants are required to hand over the land in order to lodge an appeal. The existing dispute settlement mechanism in general can be said to be inappropriate as the land taker is empowered to handle the dispute. This in turn makes landholders face multifaceted social and economic hardship. The dispute settlement scheme must therefore be rectified with the establishment of an independent body empowered to hear grievances, such as a specialized court convened for this purpose.

Keywords: land, land dispute, dispute settlement mechanisms, administrative body


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