We are delighted to publish this special issue of research on Ethiopian research. The articles celebrate the excellent work of PhD and LLM scholars involved in the Capacity Building Programme between the Ethiopian Government and the School of Law, University of Warwick. The intention of the Programme is to promote postgraduate legal education and research in Ethiopia and in particular to transfer local knowledge and skills to Ethiopian Universities with a special emphasis on Law in Development and Legal Education. The PhD component of the programme involving 18 scholars was organised from Warwick in communication with the Ethiopian institutions (currently the Higher Education Strategy Committee HESC). The unique aspect of the programme was that the scholars, who were mainly academics and senior judges or legal practitioners carried out their research in Ethiopia but came to Warwick once a year for five week training, supervision and library research sessions. There were occasional visits by supervisors to Ethiopia but otherwise supervision was done through distance communication. During their period of research, scholars were encouraged to have regular meetings and seminar sessions in Ethiopia. This process had a number of advantages, in particular scholars have been able to develop as an Ethiopian PhD research community and stimulate new ideas and approaches. The LLM programme with 36 graduands has been developed in collaboration with Mekelle University. It has been based on a modular system in which students were sequentially taught 8 modules and completed a dissertation. The students were mainly young academics and practitioners who came to Mekelle from law schools throughout Ethiopia. From the beginning course teaching was done on a joint basis involving Warwick and Ethiopian course teachers and the second cohort of the LLM students graduated with a joint degree of Warwick and Mekelle. For more information see http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/pg/etho/
The result has been not only a substantial cohort of PhD and LLM scholars but a significant contribution to growing legal scholarship in Ethiopia by Ethiopian scholars. The articles in this volume are based mainly on work done towards PhD and LLM dissertations, but have been revised and refereed. Particular features of these articles are:
a) A critical and contextual analysis of the law. This reflects the ethos of the Warwick Law in Context and Law in Development approaches in which the law has to be studied in its socio-economic and political context.
b) A concern with Ethiopian legal history. Ethiopian scholars have been keen to explore the dramatic changes as well as continuities in Ethiopia between the Haile Selassie, Derg and the current periods. Some scholars (eg Abdulmalik) have explored even older histories in order to reflect on contemporary issues.
c) A concern between the links between internal Ethiopian issues and global developments such as global trade, investment and environmental issues.
The proper development of these three dimensions is essential for an effective Ethiopian legal literature. These articles represent a small section of the significant work carried out by the scholars involved in the capacity building programme and we hope to continue to publish other significant work in journal or book form.
Our Thanks to:
- Dr Solomon Mogus of the HESC and his predecessors, colleagues at Mekelle and Warwick for their part in enabling this scholarship.
- The referees for their assistance.
- The student editors of the Student Editorial Group for the Journal from the ‘onsite’ PhD community at Warwick, who gave enormous assistance with the editing of the journal. These include in particular Rajnaara Akhtar, Catherine Arias, Timothy Dodsworth and Alison Struthers.
- Finally, the journal would not have been possible without the efforts of Melissa Maynard.
- The editorial group for this publication consisted of Elias Nour Estebek, Mehari Redae, Graham Moffat, Yasmeen Akhtar, Joanne Coysh and Abdul Paliwala but special thanks goes to Dr. Joanne Coysh for her substantial contribution.