Rural land arbitration elders: Composition, recruiment and their relation with regular court: the case of adami tullu jido kombolcha woreda (Ethiopia)
Solomon Dessalegn Dibaba
This study is about rural land arbitration elders in Oromia (Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha Wereda case) of Ethiopia. The federal and regional rural land administration and use law particularly that of Oromia recognizes rural land dispute settlement by local arbitration elders. The study is about composition, recruitment, relation with regular court and laws applied by local arbitration elders (Jaarsa Biyyaa), and the status of their decision. The FDRE Constitution and other laws recognize the applications of customary rules for land dispute settlement and other matters. But establishment and hence jurisdiction of local arbitration elders (Jaarsa Biyyaa) as customary dispute resolution institution is not regulated by both federal and regional rural land administration law. The Oromia rural land administration law not provides the status of local arbitration elders. The other point is as to values of arbitration elder’s finding. The Oromia rural land administration law says nothing how elder’s finding (which has become binding on parties) is enforced. The Oromia rural land administration law is silent as to which type of laws applied by arbitration elders but the finding shows as customary rules are applicable. The problem is these customary rules do not exist in written form but in the memory of individuals, as a result of this; there is high probability of variation, a possibility of arbitrariness and the danger of abuse. After addressing all these problems in the study area focusing Oromia rural land administration law, this study has given substantial recommendations for solving these problems.