The Journal of Ethiopian Law (JEL) publishes unsolicited and solicited original scholarly submissions that make significant contribution to or bring new insight as regards the understanding, development and implementation of the law applicable in Ethiopia. The Journal accepts scholarly works of any genre: doctrinal, empirical, interdisciplinary, critical, socio-legal, feminist, historical, or comparative scholarships pertaining to the broad spectrum of legal, economic, political, social and technological issues arising in relation to Ethiopian law and related international law. Manuscripts based on legal materials from foreign jurisdictions will be considered for publication on a case-by-case basis, having regard to their potential contribution to the understating of Ethiopian law and/or informing its development and application. The Editorial Board shall determine whether a contribution meets this objective. Authors shall convincingly justify how their manuscript is relevant for the Ethiopian reader.
Publication of articles or other forms of contributions in the Journal is free. The Journal does not charge authors manuscript submission, processing or publishing fee.
Publication frequency of JEL has varied in the past. As of 2023 JEL is a bi-annual publication, its issues coming out in June and December.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
The Journal publishes the following forms of contributions: Feature Articles; Notes, Case Comments, Book Reviews, Editorial, Current Legal Developments, and Letters.
A feature/full-fledged article is an original scholarly piece based on extensive review and analysis of primary data and/or the latest literature and up-to-date legal developments with balanced presentation of arguments pertaining to the issue under discussion.
Notes are concise yet still original contributions in which authors review, elaborate, analyze or comment on significant legal topics or latest developments in the law or legal literature or canvas their insightful, informed personal thoughts on legal and justice related issues of significance to the legal system.
A Case comment is a contribution in which the author comments on case(s) decided by courts at the federal or regional states, the House of Federation, administrative tribunals, arbitration centers, regional or international judicial or quasi-judicial organs and standout for their effect on jurisprudential development in the country.
A book review provides readers an engaging, informative, and critical discussion of the book under review.
Current Legal Developments
Current Legal Developments section presents, with a focus on the federal jurisdiction, a descriptive/analytical summary of laws enacted and decisions rendered by the Cassation Division of the Federal Supreme Court as well as the House of Federation in the six months since the last issue of the Journal, along with an indication of the impact of the legislation/decision on the existing body of law.
Letter to the Editor
A Letter to the Editor is an opinion/comment in response to articles, notes, case and legislation comments, current legal developments and book reviews appearing in the Journal within the last year.
Editorial presents the views and opinion of the editors of the Journal on legal and justice related issue of significance to the Ethiopian legal system.
The Journal of Ethiopian Law comes out both in print and electronically (online).
The Journal publishes manuscripts submitted either in English or Amharic.
The Peer-review Process
Peer review is a fundamental element of the Journal of Ethiopian Law. The Journal adheres to a ‘double-blind’ peer review policy. The Journal strives to make the review process clear, objective, and fair.
Submissions passing initial screening undergo rigorous review. Feature articles will be referred to two external anonymous reviewers to be selected having regard to their expertise on the subject matter of the manuscript. Other types of contributions shall be reviewed in-house, i.e., by the Editor with expertise in the subject matter of the manuscript; in the absence of a suitable in-house assessor, the submission may be referred to an external assessor.
The Editor-in-Chief and the Managing Editor should adhere to the principle of “first come first served” in undertaking screening of a submission or referring it to reviewers or submitting the same to the Editorial Board.
Complaints and Appeals
Where the author(s) have serious and reasonable objections to the reviews on their manuscripts, they can appeal to the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board will assess whether the review is objective and whether it meets scholarly standards. If there is a doubt about the objectivity or quality of review and the decision, the Editor-in-Chief will assign additional reviewer(s). Additional reviewers may also be assigned when reviewers’ decisions (accept or reject) are contrary to each other or otherwise substantially incompatible. The Editorial Board has the final say on complaints and divergence of opinion among reviewers.
Commitment to the Highest Standard of Publication Ethics
The Journal of Ethiopian Law takes its duty of ensuring the integrity of the publishing process seriously. It follows a rigorous peer-review process together with strict publication ethical policies and standards to ensure the addition of high-quality research outputs to the body of legal literature. Where breach of ethics is suspected or alleged, we are committed to investigating and taking the necessary actions to maintain the integrity of the body of legal literature.
In addition to the general ethical standards and procedures set out below, the Journal uses the codes of conduct and best practice guidelines on publication ethics formulated by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as the standard of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing as well as to address reported or suspected misconduct.
Ethical Responsibilities of Editorial Board Members
Editorial Board members of JEL are individually and collectively responsible for the contents of the Journal. It is their responsibility to work ethically, honestly, and show due diligence in their selection of what to publish. These requirements also apply to Guest Editors(s). Specific ethical requirements of Editorial Board members include:
- Making publishing decisions impartially, based only on the soundness of the research and the value of the manuscript to researchers and readers;
- Ensure that the peer-review process is fair, unbiased, and timely;
- Protect the confidentiality of all materials submitted to the Journal and all communications with reviewers unless sharing information/material is found necessary as part of an investigation of suspected research misconduct. EB members must not use for personal advantage any unpublished materials or privileged information or idea which they have accessed in their capacity as editors;
- Avoiding editorial conflicts of interest. An editor must not be involved in decisions about a manuscript which he has written or have been written by family members or friends or any other manuscript in which the editor has a private interest in its publication. Further, any such submission must be subject to all of the regular procedures of the Journal and the peer-review and editorial decision must be handled independently of the editor with conflict of interest and his research group, and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.
- Demonstrate diligence to detect misconducts in the publishing process, including plagiarism.
- The EB shall review and assess reported or suspected misconduct (in research, publication, reviewer or editorial) and should, as appropriate, revise decisions, issue erratum or corrigendum, retract publication, etc., when a publication has been shown to be incorrect.
Ethical Responsibilities of Authors
Author(s) should comply with the following ethical requirements of the Journal of Ethiopian Law.
- Authors should present an accurate and balanced account of the subject of their investigation as well as any data used. Analysis should be objective, free from political, religious, ethnic or any other bias. Notes, reflections/opinions, review articles, case comments, editorials and reviews should also be accurate and objective. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements or misrepresentations in manuscript constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Data/information presented must be genuine and not inappropriately selected, manipulated, enhanced, or fabricated. Authors may be asked to provide the research data or information source used in their paper for editorial review. A paper should contain detailed references to allow others to trace the source of information.
- Authors should submit only entirely original work, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, they must ensure that this has been appropriately cited or quoted and permission has been obtained where necessary. Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical behavior and is unacceptable. Manuscripts submitted to Journal of Ethiopian Law will be regularly checked for plagiarism using the anti-plagiarism software UrKund.
- An author should not submit for publication in the Journal of Ethiopian Law a paper that has been published previously or a modification/adaptation of it, except when a manuscript published outside of Ethiopia is considered for secondary publication in Journal of Ethiopian Law.
- Simultaneous submission of manuscript to another journal is not permitted. Authors should declare that the manuscript they are submitting is not under consideration by any other publisher.
- Authorship should be limited only to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, or analysis and write up of the research. All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the paper (e.g. language editing or data collection or processing raw data), they should be recognized in an acknowledgement in a footnote.
- In case of co-authored manuscripts, the corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. All communications to and from the corresponding author regarding a manuscript should be carbon copied to the other co-authors. Authors take collective responsibility for their work.
- Authors should respect the privacy right of humans.
- All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could be viewed as inappropriately influencing their work.
- When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify Journal of Ethiopian Law and cooperate with the Editorial Board to retract or correct the paper as deemed necessary by the Editorial Board. If the Editorial Board of the Journal learns by another means that a published work contains an error, it is the obligation of the author(s) to cooperate for corrective actions, including providing data/evidence to the editor where requested.
Ethical Responsibilities of Reviewers
The Journal of Ethiopian Law expects manuscript reviewers to comply with the following ethical requirements:
- Treat authors and their work with respect, as they would like to be treated themselves and to observe good reviewing etiquette.
- Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should promptly notify the Managing Editor and decline to participate in the review process.
- Reviewers should treat manuscript they received for review as confidential document. Reviewers must not share the review or information about the paper with anyone without discussion with and permission from the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research.
- A reviewer should be alert to potential ethical issues in the paper and should bring these to the attention of the Managing Editor, including any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the reviewer has personal knowledge. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied with the relevant citation.
- Reviewers should do assessment of the manuscript objectively. Reviewers should be aware of any personal bias they may have and be mindful of this when reviewing a manuscript. Personal criticism of the author(s) is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
- A reviewer should decline request to review if he knows the identity of the author(s) of the manuscript.
- Reviewers should consult the Managing Editor before agreeing to review a paper where they have potential conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with the institutions connected to the paper.
Procedures for Dealing with Breach of Publication Ethics
Any suspicion or allegation of violation of the ethical standards outlined above (such as plagiarism, undeclared conflict of interest, authorship falsification) will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated by the Editorial Board.
Where unethical behavior is suspected or alleged, the Editorial Board shall gather evidence related to the matter in a confidential manner. During the process of investigating, the Editorial Board shall ensure that the allegations are not disseminated more widely than required to investigate thoroughly. The Board should hear the views of the person(s) suspected of breaching publication ethics.
If a breach of ethics is confirmed by the Editorial Board, it shall be followed by appropriate action against the person who breached publication ethics. The action to be taken shall consider the gravity of the breach of ethics and may take any of the following form, as the Editorial Board finds it appropriate:
- Inform the individual of the applicable ethical standards and the breach that has been noted.
- Warn the individual that any further misconduct could result in more severe sanctions.
- Publish, in the current issue of the Journal (both print and online) a statement from the Editorial Board outlining the ethical breach and corrective actions taken.
- Formally withdraw or retract the text and inform all relevant individuals and institutions of that withdrawal or retraction.
- Impose an embargo on any future submissions from the individual for a determinate period.
- Report the misconduct to the individual’s academic institution, professional association he may be a member of, funding organization, or other regulatory association for review and action.
The School of Law holds copyright over individual manuscripts appearing in the Journal as well as in the collective work. Authors should be aware that by submitting a manuscript for publication in JEL they are assigning their copyright to the School of Law in the event of the publication of the manuscript. However, authors have the right to reprint their manuscripts elsewhere with permission from the Managing Editor of the Journal.
The electronic (online) version of the Journal of Ethiopian Law is an open access publication. All its contents are available free of charge.
The contents of the Journal, except for third party works incorporated by permission, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the School of Law.