The Office of Attorney General on Wednesday announced that it has presented the long-awaited draft laws of the revised Commercial Code and the Criminal Procedure Code to the Council of Ministers.
Though the Criminal Procedure Code had been presented to the Council of Ministered time and again, it had not been approved to date.
Attorney General Getachew Ambaye, who presented his office’s three-month performance report before the Justice, Law and Administration Standing Committee of the House of People’s Representative said that the two revised draft codes took a long time to finalize as their nature is different from regular proclamations.
“They are not mere legislation. They even require decisive decisions from the government including policy changes,” he told members of the standing committee, adding that the draft codes have already been submitted to the Council of Ministers.
Both the Criminal Procedure and Commercial codes are among the six major codes that had been enacted between 1955 and 1965, which have not been revised over the past six decades. One exception is the the Criminal Code which was formerly referred to as the Penal Code.
Revision works on the two codes have been carried out for years before it was finalized and sent to the pertinent government body.
“Several stakeholders meetings have also been held with the view to enriching the draft,” Getachew said.
It can be recalled that legislators had endorsed the revised version of the Criminal Code which include crimes that are committed using of technology. Accordingly, the new code has incorporated crimes such as aircraft hijacking, computer crimes, money laundering, and environmental pollution.
The Criminal Code had already been revised and was endorsed by the legislative body back in 2005 while the attempt to revise the Criminal Procedure Code has been rejected repeatedly. This, however, drew criticisms from legal experts who argued that the Criminal Procedure Code should have been revised together with the Criminal Code or immediately after. They also said that the country has a new Criminal Code with an old Criminal Procedure Code.