Do you want to know about the common period of limitations found in the Ethiopian legal system? Below you will find them.

For those who don’t know period of limitation, here is the definition of Period of limitation. It means when a person who can be a plaintiff or a defendant has a time limit for raising or presenting a question. Below you will find list of period of Limitations listed under the Ethiopian civil code.

1. In  contract law

According to Article 1845 of the civil code any person who wants the performance of a contract or has incurred loss due to the non-performance of a contract shall exercise his right to ask within ten years.

2. Non-contractual obligations

According to Article 2143 of the civil code cases of non-contractual obligations have two years period of limitation. However, if the case leads to a criminal liability and if the crime has a period of limitation more than two years, the time fixed for asking compensation shall be substituted by the period of limitation of the crime.

3. Succession

There are various period of limitations in case of succession. One of them is for annulment of a will. if there are parties who want the annulment of a will, they can do so by expressing their wish within two weeks time after the reading or from the time they came to know that the will has been read, to the liquidator within the coming months and in any case it should not be more than 5 (five) years (Article 973 & 944).

The other one is in relation to cases of unlawful possession of property. So in case of unlawful possession of property in succession, the plaintiff who sues the defendant for restitution of the property must do so within 3 (three) years from the time one recognized the fact that the property is in the defendant’s hand. Other than this whether the plaintiff  knew or didn’t know of the fact that the property was in the hands of the defendant does not give him right to claim the property, if 15 years has passed from the time the deceased died or from the time the plaintiff) came to acquire his right (Article 1000).

4. Property law

If a person’s possession is taken or there is disturbance on his possession, the person can institute a case or complaint for the return of the property within 2 years only. Art 1149(2).

5. Labor law

  • Labor law proc-377/2003 Art 162 states that if an employee says the employment agreement is terminated unlawfully, he can ask for re-employment within 3 months from the termination of the contract.
  • Fees, bonus and other payments must be asked within six months from the termination of the contract.
  • If any kind of payment question arises regarding the termination of employment contract by either the employee or employer it must be instituted with in six months of the termination.
  • Issues related with employment contract other than the above must be instituted within one year from the termination of the contract

6. Civil procedure

In civil procedure code there are rules incorporated regarding period of limitation. After a judgment is given, in civil cases, an appeal must be instituted within 60 days (Art 323(2) But if is an employment dispute then the appeal must be made within 30 days.

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