Do you   know about period of limitation? Period of limitation means when one person who can be a plaintiff or a defendant has a time limit for raising or presenting a question. Here in below you will find list of period of Limitations listed under the Ethiopian criminal code.

In criminal cases

Period of Limitations in criminal cases are divided into two. They are suit period of limitation and sentence period of limitations.

Suits period of Limitation

  1. Whether it is the public prosecutor or the victim who institutes a case against the wrong doer must do within the time limit listed under Art- 215-222. According to Art 217 of this law a crime which is punishable by life sentence or death penalty is committed a case may not be instituted after 25 years
  2. According to the gravity of the crime the period of limitation varies from 5 years to 20 Years ( Art 217)
  3. On the other hand, if the crime committed is punishable by not more than one year or by fine a suit may be instituted within 3 years.
  4. According to Art 218 of the criminal code there is a different king of period of limitation this is in case of upon complaint cases and its period of limitation is 2 years

Period of limitation of sentence

Period of limitation of sentence depends on the execution of the sentence. According to Art 223 of the criminal code states that a person who has been sentenced for the crier he committed but execution did not take place the right execution of the sentence /punishment will be changed. It depends upon the gravity of the crime and accordingly period of limitation varies from 30, 20, 10 to 5 Years (Art 224(1)

Legal consequences of period of Limitation

Period of Limitation is the debtor’s defense. The law gives this defense chance for the debtor but he won’t be obliged to raise. As stated in Art 244 of the civil procedure code. The person who benefits from raising period of limitation must use his right at the first examination stage of the court procedure before the court goes into the merit of the case it decrees whether the case is limited by period of Limitation Not. If the objection is not permissible the judge does not. If the objection is not permissible the judge does n0t have to go into the merits of the case.

If the defense of period o limitation is not raised by the defendant himself, the law does not permit for the judge to raise it by his own initiative. This is because period of limitation gives the debtor procedures right. Therefore, if period of limitation is not raised as first level opposition the right will be considered as waived.

Even though judges can not raise the period of limitation by themselves, the can not judge (handle) criminal cases (suits) barred by period of limitation. Similarly, if the period of limitation lapses before the judgment is expended, the executor before the judgment is excited , the executor should raise it himself even if the party at fault does not do so criminal Code art 21 6(2) & 223(2).

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