- A person shall be disqualified from admission as an advocate if he:
- is convicted of an offence involving dishonesty and fraud; or
- has been declared bankrupt in the past five years or his finances are in such a state that insolvency proceedings have been started against the applicant; or
- had been disbarred and two years have not lapsed since the disbarment decision had come into force; or
- is dismissed or removed from employment or public office or any charge involving dishonesty and fraud; or
- has another full-time government or private occupation, except the position of law instructors in higher educational institutions.
- An advocate may not concurrently be a member of the legislative or the executive body of the government.
- A person shall not be disqualified by race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or any other immutable characteristics from being admitted, qualified or licensed in order to engage in legal practice.
No foreign citizen may be admitted as an advocate in Ethiopia unless he:
- holds a valid identification card of Ethiopian origin;
- is of good moral character; and
- is qualified to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction; and
- produces evidence that certifies he has passed the admission examination as may be prescribed by the Federal Bar.
- A written examination for the admission of persons as advocates shall be held at least twice a year. The procedure, agenda and time for holding the examination shall be determined by the Federal
- The written examination shall be held in the working language of the Federal Government.
- A person who has successfully completed an admission examination shall receive a certifying document from the Federal Bar.
- A certifying document issued pursuant to Sub-article 3 of this Article shall be invalid if a person does not start legal practice within 1 year after passing the examination.
- The traineeship required for admission shall be fulfilled if an applicant can prove that he has served under the supervision of an advocate, or in a law firm, or as a pleader or went through a practical training program for two (2) years.
- An apprenticeship conducted after graduation shall be considered as a traineeship for the purpose of admission. The period of apprenticeship shall be two (2) years. An apprentice shall not be precluded from receiving remuneration from his supervisor.
- Where an apprentice attends the course of instruction concurrently with his period of apprenticeship, the period spent in attendance at such course of instruction shall not be counted for the purpose of
Application for Admission
- Admission to the advocates’ profession shall be granted upon the submission of a written application by a person to the Federal Bar.
- An application for admission shall be submitted together with documents evidencing the fulfillment of the requirements for admission.
- The Federal Bar shall make a decision on an application for admission within one month following the submission of a complete application by the applicant.
- A stay of the admission decision is lawful only if procedures are pending that might lead to a rejection of an application.
Sub-section Two – Licensing
- An admission is legally valid only when a license is issued by the Federal Bar.
- A person who fulfills the requirements of the law and provides proof of a professional indemnity insurance that meets the requirements of this Proclamation shall be issued a license.
- Before the issuance of a license, the applicant shall make a written declaration. Subject to any necessary modifications to conform to the religious beliefs of the applicant, the declaration shall be in the following form:
- “I, [applicant’s name], do solemnly and sincerely declare and swear that I will truly and honestly conduct myself in the practice of an advocate of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia according to the best of my knowledge, ability and according to the Constitution and all laws in effect.”
- When the admission committee confirms that the requirements for admission are fulfilled, a license shall be issued by the Federal Bar to the applicant.
- The license to be issued to a person may relate to a general or limited practice.
Special Advocacy License
- A person or an institution that defends the general interests and rights of the society and renders the services free of charge shall be issued with a special advocacy license.
- When a special advocacy license is issued to an institution, the institution has the obligation to make sure that the services are rendered by or under the supervision of a licensed advocate.
- The institution and the advocate in charge shall be responsible for maintaining the standard and ensuring compliance with the law in rendering the services.
- Any person who has an advocacy license and meets the requirements specified in Sub-article 1 of this Article may render advocacy services without a special advocacy license. However, he shall notify the Federal Bar before rendering such a service.