RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE PEOPLE
No one shall be denied the equal protection of the laws.
There shall be no discrimination amongst Ethiopian subjects with respect to the
enjoyment of all civil rights.
The law shall determine the conditions of acquisition and loss of Ethiopian
nationality and of Ethiopian citizenship.
There shall be no interference with the exercise, in accordance with the law, of the
rights of any religion or creed by the residents of the Empire, provided that such rites
be not utilized for political purposes or be not prejudicial to public order of morality.
Freedom of speech and of the press is guaranteed throughout the Empire in
accordance with the law.
Correspondence shall be subject to no censorship, except in time of declared national
No one within the Empire may be deprived of life, liberty or property without due
process of law.
Everyone has the right, within the limits of the law, to own and dispose of property.
No one may be deprived of his property except upon finding by ministerial order
issued pursuant to the requirements of a special expropriation law enacted in
accordance with the provisions of Articals 88, 89 or 90 of the present Constitution,
and except upon payment of just compensation determined, in the absence of
agreement, by judicial procedures established by law. Said ministerial order, to be
effective, shall be approved by the Council of Ministers and published in the Negarit
Ethiopian subjects shall have the right, in accordance with the conditions prescribed
by law, to assemble peacably and without arms.
Freedom to travel within the Empire and to change domicile therein is assured to all
subjects of the Empire, in accordance with the law.
Every Ethiopian subject has the right to engage in any occupation and, to that end, to
form or join associations, in accordance with the law.
The Ethiopian family, as the source of the maintenance and development of the
Empire and the primary basis of education and social harmony, is under the special
protection of the law.
No Ethiopian subject may be banished from the Empire.
No Ethiopian subject may be extradited to a foreign country. No other person shall be
extradited except as provided by international agreement.
No one may be arrested without a warrant issued by a court, except in case of
flagrant or serious violation of the law in force. Every arrested person shall be
brought before the judicial authority within forty-eight hours of his arrest. However,
if the arrest takes place in a locality which is removed from the court by a distance
which can be traversed only on foot in not less than forty-eight hours, the court shall
have discretion to extend the period of forty-eight hours. The period of detention
shall be reckoned as a part of the term of imprisonment imposed by sentence. No one
shall be held in prison awaiting trial on a criminal charge to sole penalty for which is
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused, duly submitting to the court, shall have the
right to a speedy trial and to be confronted with witnesses against him, to have
compulsory process, in accordance with the law, for obtaining witnesses in his
favour, at the expence of the Government and to have the assistance of council for his
defence, who, if the accused is unable to obtain the same by his own efforts or
through his own funds, shall be assigned and provided to the accused by the court.
No person accused of and arrested for a crime shall be presumed guilty until so
Punishment is personal. No one shall be punished except in accordance with the law
and after conviction of an offence committed by him.
No one shall be punished for any offence which has not been decleard by law to be
punishable before the commision of such offence, or shall suffer any punishement
greater than that which was provided by the law in force at the time of the commision
of the offence.
No one shall be punished twice for the same offence.
No one shall be subjected to cruel and in human punishment.
No one shall be imprisoned for debt, except in case of legally proven fraud or of
refusal either, to pay moneys or property adjudged by the court to have been taken in
violation of the law, or to pay, or to fulfill legal obligations of maintenance. This
provision shall not have the effect of releasing the debtor from his obligations.
No sentence of death shall be executed unless it be confirmed by the Emperor.
Confiscation of property as a penalty shall not be imposed except in cases of treason,
as defined by law, against the Emperor or the Empire; sequestration of property as a
penalty shall not be imposed except in cases of property belonging to persons
residing abroad and conspiring against or engaging in deliberately hostile acts, as
defined by law, against the Emperor or the Empire. Attachment proceedings covering
the whole or part of the property of a person, made under judicial authority, to cover
payment of civil liability, or liability arising out of the commission of an offence, or to
meet taxes or fines, shall not be deemed a confiscation of property.
All persons and all private domiciles shall be exempt from unlawful searches and
(a) In accordance with tradition and the provisions of Artical 4 of this Constitution,
no one shall have the right to bring suit against the Emperor.
(b) Any resident of the Empire may bring suit, in the courts of Ethiopia, against the
Government, or any Ministry, Department, Agency or instrumentality thereof, for
wrongful acts resulting in substantial damage. In the event that the courts shall find
that such suit has been brought maliciously or with out foundation, the Government,
or any Ministry, Department, Agency, instrumentality, or official thereof against
whom or which such suit was brought, shall have the right of action against such
resident for such malicious or unfounded suit, and the court shall, in such case,
decree remedies or penalities according to the law.
Everyone in the Empire shall have the right to present petitions to the Emperor.
Everyone in the Empire has the duty to respect and obey the constitution, laws,
decrees, orders and regulations of the Empire. Ethiopian subjects, in additions, owe
loyality to the Emperor and the Empire, and have duty of defending the Emperor and
the Empire against, foreign and domestic, to perform public services, including
military services, when called upon to do so, and to exercise the right of suffrage
which is conferred upon them by the Constitution.
Respect for the rights and freedoms of others and the requirements of public order
and the general welfare, shall alone justify any limitations upon the rights guaranteed
in the foregoing articals of the present Chapter.