The Federal and state courts system under the FDRE
Chapter nine of the Constitution, (Article 78 to 84) deals with the “structure and powers of the courts” on federal and state levels. It describes a “regular” three-tier Federal and State Court system. On the Federal level, the court system is comprised of Federal First Instance Courts, Federal High Courts and the Federal Supreme Court. On a state level, the system consists of State First Instance Courts (Woreda Courts), State High Courts (Zonal Courts) and the State Supreme Court. The Constitution also allows for Religious and Customary Courts. In addition, courts known as Social Courts have been set up in a number of States. Some of those courts have a historic origin. Others have been legislated for by the States’ Governments. Chapter nine of the Constitution, however, does not mention the Social Courts. This has led to a debate, in some quarters about whether such courts are constitutionally permissible.