THE Government of Eritrea has published new Civil, Penal, Civil Procedure and Penal Procedures Codes. The Minister of Justice, Ms. Fawzia Hashim, described the rationale and central attributes of the new laws in an interview she conducted with national media outlets on the weekend.
The new Codes will replace the respective Transitional Codes that were enacted immediately after liberation and have been operational to date. The Minister further underlined that the Commercial Code is in the process of finalization and will soon be put into effect.
The Codes are designed to further enhance the supremacy of law, the Minister pointed out. They are in consonance with the civilized and law-abiding traditions and norms of the Eritrean people as well as with the aspirations and objectives of the long struggle that they had waged to ensure respect of their inalienable rights. In the event, the publication and enforcement of the new Codes that guarantee peace and social harmony for generations to come and that are predicated on human dignity, development and the rule of law is both timely and indispensable, the Minister clarified.
Minister Fawzia highlighted that the Eritrean people had themselves developed and run their affairs on the basis of written as well as oral customary laws for centuries before the advent of foreign rule. These customary laws were not only equitable and comprehensive but they also incorporated the rights and protection of draught animals as well as the environment. Successive colonial rules had, however, impeded their natural evolution and modernization. These new Codes have taken stoke of the common concepts found in these customary laws and represent, in this sense, another tangible achievement of the liberation struggle, the Minister elaborated.
Minister Fawzia explained that the drafting process of these laws took several years, accompanied as it was, by profound research and examination of relevant customary laws and universally recognized legal principles and norms. The exercise did not only involve professional legal experts but was also characterized by extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders in the country.
Minister Fawzia underlined that the Ministry of Justice and all relevant government bodies must continue launching concerted sensitization campaigns to ensure much wider understanding of these laws among the public.