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Dr. Menberetsehai Tadesse is the former Deputy Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia and a former judge of the COMESA Court of Justice. I currently serves as a justice reform consultant in international and domestic courts and other government organs. I also teaches criminal justice in the post graduate program at Addis Ababa University. I was extensive knowledge and experience in justice reform and court modernization as well as in teaching, judicial education and justice research. 


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I Currently teach Criminal Justice in the post graduate program of the Faculty of Law, Addis Ababa University. The course provides comparative perspective of the laws, processes and institutions in criminal justice at the domestic and international level including international criminal justice and transitional justice.

October 2013-present
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I have undertaken numerous consultancy works to national and international courts on access to justice, court modernization and other aspects of judicial reform. In this regard I have, amongst others, provided technical support to the Citizen Centric Judicial Modernization and Justice Service Delivery Project in Tanzania and the Access to Justice Action Research project in Sub Saharan Africa sponsored by the World Bank. I also did an assessment of the status of judicial education in Africa for the African Court of Justice and drafted the Rules of Procedure for the COMESA Court of Justice. I have also participated in the development of the Policy for the Prevention and Response to Gender Based violence for the Ethiopian Government. In addition, I have advised the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia and the Supreme Court of the Regional State of Tigrai in Ethiopia on judicial cooperation and reorganization of social courts (small claims tribunals) respectively. I have served as an arbitrator in numerous arbitral tribunals.

September 2016-June 2020

I provided technical support for the digitization of court process of the courts in Ethiopia. I have in particular designed the template for the civil and criminal processes in first instance, appellate and cassation divisions. I also led the implementation and piloting of the same project in the courts.

September 2012-June 2020
Addis Ababa and Adigrat

I taught procedural courses in undergraduate and graduate programs in Addis Ababa and Adigrat Universities. I particularly delivered the courses of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Justice, Commercial Dispute Resolution and Construction Law. I also advised students during the writing their theses.

June 2005-June 2015

I served as one of the judges of the first instance division of the COMESA Court of Justice which had the jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes arising within the context of the COMESA Treaty. During this process, I participated in the writing of the judgments of the Court on various issues including labour and commercial disputes. I also participated in the drafting of the Rules of Procedure for the Court and training Rules of Procedure to delegates of member states.

June 2010-October 2013
Addis Ababa,

As the Director General, I provided the overall leadership of the government think tank which had the power and responsibility to undertake research on law and justice issues with a view to strengthen and modernize the Ethiopian justice system. I oversaw the conduct of many research works which included research on access to justice, public perception surveys about the administration of justice, customary justice, rights of the child, rights of women, the issues relating the Nile river and the situation of ADR in Ethiopia. Legal researches were also conducted on supervision of offenders, the commercial code and pecuniary effects of divorce with a particular focus on the federal courts in Ethiopia. During my term, several books were published including ‘Law and Development and Legal Pluralism in Ethiopia’, Customary Justice in Ethiopia’, and Contract Enforcement in Cases Involving Private Companies’.

Addis Ababa

I served as the first director of the first judicial training institute in Ethiopia. Apart from ensuring the institutionalization of judicial education for initial, continuous and special training programs for judges and prosecutors, I also lead the design and implementation of the curriculum for the institution. I also lead the design of the delivery methods, development of teaching modules and also served as a trainer in many of the training programs.

April 1996-June 2010
Addis Ababa Ethiopia

I presided over civil and criminal cases in the appellate and cassation divisions of the federal supreme court. As such, I conducted trials of criminal cases falling within the first instance jurisdiction of the court. I wrote many land mark judgements that are now serving as precedent in the Ethiopian courts. I also led the administrative arm of the court, including the registrar’s office, finance and human resource. I also managed the judicial reform and modernization programs for the federal and the other regional courts in Ethiopia which aimed to address the efficiency, access and effectiveness challenges faced by the courts. As part of the reform efforts, I also led the structural reform efforts which required amendment to existing legal procedural, administrative and other substantive laws. In addition, I managed the child justice project office which was established with the financial and technical support by donors. I was also instrumental in introducing technology to streamline judicial processes.

April 1996-June 2010
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

As a deputy chairperson of the government body in Ethiopia that undertakes preliminary investigation of constitutional complaints, I participated in the provision of constitutional interpretation on many issues including women’s rights, land rights, procedural rights, equality rights, voting rights and labour rights, just to mention a few. As such I had the opportunity to implement the human rights section of the Ethiopian constitution and international human rights treaties ratified by Ethiopia. I also managed the administrative matters of the Council in my capacity as the deputy chair person.

April 1996-June 2010
Addis Ababa,

My role in this office was concerned with the appointment and disciplining of the federal judges in Ethiopia. This commission had also the mandate to consider judges’ disciplinary matters. Being the deputy chairperson of the commission, I also managed administrative matters relating to the daily activities of the commission.

Augest 1986-1993
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I served as a graduate assistant and assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Addis Ababa University right after my graduation. I taught Family Law and Introduction to Civil Law.


University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, Doctor of Philosophy in 2010

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Institute of Judicial Educators, Canada, , 1996

University of Vermont, Burlington, USA, , 1995

Raoul Wallenberg Institute, University of Lund, Sweden, , 1994

Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands,

Public Administration International, London, United Kingdom, , 2004


I have participated in quite many workshops and conferences and have my papers published
in various platforms. Some of papers I wrote are presented below

  • Constitutional Framework and Institutions for Development, Handbook for the Ethiopian Economy, Oxford.
  • Judicial Reform in Ethiopia, PhD thesis, August 2010
  • Features of Ethiopian law and justice (Book in Amharic)
  • The Ethiopian Criminal Justice System: Law and reality, April 2004.
  • Basic Problems of the Ethiopian Justice System, September 2003.
  • Enforcement of Commercial Agreements in Ethiopia, May 2003.
  • Incorporation of International Human Rights Standards into the Legal System of Ethiopia, January 2001