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In no case shall simple imprisonment exceed two years.
(3) Simple imprisonment shall terminate when the offender pays the fine or part thereof which is still due. Simple imprisonment shall also terminate when the offender provides a security or surety which, in the opinion of the Court, is sufficient.
It should be mentioned that the Ethiopian Penal Code contains legislation geared to expedite compensation for damages caused by an offense, including a provision that a part of the fine or of the "yield" derived from the conversion of the fine into work is to be appropriated to the benefit of the victim of the crime. The State pays the compensation and the claim is assigned to the State, which enforces it. The compensation scheme is set forth in two articles. Article 100. Compensation for Damages Caused by an Offence
(1) Where an offence has caused considerable damage to the injured person or to those having rights from him, particularly in cases of death, injuries to the body or health, defamation, damage to property or destruction of goods, the injured person or the persons having rights from him shall be entitled to claim that the offender be ordered to make good the damage or to make restitution or to pay damages by way of compensation
Such claim shall include any expenses in hospital or expenses for medical treatment to such amount as may be assessed by expert evidence.
(2) The right to sue, the conditions under which an award is to be made. and the right to and extent of the restitution, damages and indemnification shall be governed by the provisions of the civil law on such matter.
The court shall hear evidence and the submission of both parties and shall make an order according to its findings and where the parties have reached an agreement which in the opinion of the court is just, it shall make an order accordingly.
The payment of any sum due on such order may be secured by the seizure of goods of the offender, not being goods which are necessary for his livelihood or for the exercise of his trade or profession.
(3) For the purpose of establishing his or their claim, the injured person or the persons having rights from him may be joined as parties in the criminal proceedings.
The conditions, form and manner of such joinder shall be governed by the provisions laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code.
In cases of a complicated nature or where the circumstances of the case make it expedient so to do, particularly where an inquiry has to be held in connection with the offense or where it is necessary to have the report of experts, the court sitting in Criminal Court may remit the case for decision by the civil court. Article 101. Compensation to Injured Party
(1) Where it appears that compensation will not be paid by the offender or those liable on his behalf on account of the circumstances of the case or their situation, the court may order that the proceeds or part of the proceeds of the sale of the articles distrained, or the sum guaranteed as surety, or a part of the fine or of the yield of the conversion into work, or confiscated family property be paid to the injured party.
(2) The granting of such compensation shall not be awarded except upon express application. It shall be proportionate to the extent of the damage suffered and to the needs of the injured party and the members of his family and shall be limited as a maximum to the amount of the damage as assessed by the Court or agreed by the parties.
(3) The claim of the injured party who has been compensated shall be assigned to the State which may enforce it against the person who caused the damage.
QUESTION 10 Mistake of law and ignorance of law are not defenses in Ethiopia. The court is directed to impose no punishment in justifiable cases. Article 78. Mistake of Law and Ignorance of Law
(1) Ignorance of the law is no defence.
The Court shall, without restriction, reduce the punishment (Art. 185) applicable to a person who in good faith believed he had a right to act and had definite and adequate reasons for holding this erroneous belief.
The Court shall determine the penalty taking into account the circumstances of the case and, in particular, the circumstances that led to the error.
(2) In exceptional cases of absolute and justifiable ignorance and good faith and where criminal intent is not apparent, the Court may impose no punishment.
(3) The person who committed the breach of the law shall remain civilly liable for the injury caused.
The mistake of fact provisions of the Ethiopian Penal Code follow closely the provisions relating to criminal intent and criminal negligence. When there is no criminal intent, there is no offense, but criminal negligence is punishable in all cases where it results in an offense, regardless of a mistake of fact. Article 76. Mistake of Fact
(1) Whosoever commits an offence under an erroneous appreciation of the true facts of the situation shall be tried according to such appreciation.
Where there is no criminal intention the doer shall not be punishable. Where he could have avoided the mistake by taking such precautions as were commanded by his personal position and the circumstances of the case (Art. 59). he shall be punishable for negligence in cases where such negligence is penalized by law.
(2) Mistake as to a fact which constitutes a specified offence shall not exclude the punishment of the doer for another offence constituted by the act he performed.
(3) The offence is committed where there is a mistake as to the identity of the victim or the object of the offence.
It should be pointed out that the Proposed Federal Code is unduly repetitious in the matter of separation of the jurisdictional base upon which federal prosecution rests from the definition of the offense. Rather, it fails to accomplish its stated objective. In a true code there is no reason to repeat what has already been stated elsewhere. For example, $1001 (4) refers to $203 and is absolutely unnecessary. The most that is called for is perhaps a passing reference to $1001 in the "comments." This repetition permeates the Proposed Code. An example of unnecessary repetition is found in $1002 (4). Why not include the word "federal" in front of the word “felony" in $1002 (1) ? Another example is found in $210(e) of the proposed Code, which speaks of any “key containing deposits of guano." If this phrase could not be omitted entirely by the legislator, would not the term "guano island” be more concise ?
In Ethiopia the jurisdictions of various courts over the trial of offenses defined in the Penal Code are specified by means of a "schedule” which is an appendix to the Criminal Procedure Code. Each article of the Penal Code which defines a crime is listed in the schedule by number, then the name of the offense and the court having jurisdiction is indicated.
The substance of the Ethiopian provisions on extraterritorial jurisdiction is similar to that of the Proposed Federal Code. The methodology differs. Instead of repeating or listing many instances of extraterritoriality, one article makes reference to certain crimes which are given extraterritorial treatment. Article 13. Offences Committed in a Foreign Country Against Ethiopia
This Code shall apply to any person who in a foreign country has committed one of the offences against the Emperor and the Empire, their safety or integrity, its institutions or essential interests as defined in Book III, Title I, Chapter I, and under Title of the Special Part of this Code (Art. 248-272 and Art. 366-382).
Other instances of extraterritorial jurisdiction are covered by separate articles : offenses committed in a foreign country by an Ethiopian enjoying immunity (Article 14); offenses committed in a foreign country by members of the Armed Forces (Article 15); offenses committed in a foreign country against international law or universal order (Article 17); and other offenses committed in a foreign country by or against Ethiopians when the offense is also a crime in Ethiopia and has not been prosecuted in the foreign country (Article
Only in certain instances is conspiracy to commit a crime considered to be an offense without some other offense actually being carried out. Only in cases of conspiracy against national security (Articles 248–269), or conspiracy to commit genocide or war crimes (Articles 281–286) or to raise a mutiny of the armed forces (Article 313) is conspiracy per se defined to be criminal conduct. Otherwise, the conspiracy must “materialize” before there is a crime (Article 472). In such cases, anyone who helped plan or prepare for the commission of the offense is guilty of the separate offense of conspiracy. In addition, for those who commit the planned offense, criminal conspiracy is treated as an aggravating circumstance for which the court must increase the penalty of the primary offense (Article 37).
QUESTION 14 Ethiopia does not have a “felony murder" doctrine. The individual must have an intent to commit the homicide before he may be found liable for it. He may be held liable, however, if he concurs in the homicide while in the company of others who actually perform the act. Article 32. Principal Act: Offender and Co-Offenders
(1) A person shall be regarded as having committed an offence and punished as such if :
(a) he actually commits the offence either directly or indirectly, for example by means of an animal or a natural force; or
(b) he without performing the criminal act itself fully associates himself with the commission of the offence and the intended result; or
(c) he employs a mentally deficient person for the commission of an offence or knowingly compels another person to commit an offence.
(2) Where the offence committed goes beyond the intention of the offender he shall be tried in accordance with Article 58(3).
(3) Where several co-offenders are involved they shall be liable to the same punishment as provided by law.
The Court shall take into account the provisions governing the effect of personal circumstances (Art. 40) and those governing the award of punishment according to the degree of individual guilt (Art. 86). Article 36. Accomplice
(1) An accomplice is a person who knowingly assists a principal offender either before or during the carrying out of the criminal design, whether by information, advice, supply of means or material aid or assistance of any kind whatsoever in the commission of an offence.
(2) An accomplice in an intentional offence shall always be liable to punishment.
(3) The punishment to be imposed shall be the punishment for the offence whether attempted or completed insofar as such offence does not go beyond the accomplice's intention (Art. 58(3)). The Court may, taking into account the circumstances of the case, reduce the punishment in respect to an accomplice within the limits specified by law (Art. 184).
Organized armed robbery is specified in the homicide article as an aggravating circumstance which can justify the death penalty for a homicide committed during its course. Article 522. Aggravated IIomicide-Homicide in the First Degree
(1) Whosoever intentionally commits homicide:
(a) with such premeditation, motives or means, in such conditions of commission, or in any other aggravating circumstances. whether general (Art. 81), or particular duly established (Art. 83), as to betoken that he is exceptionally cruel or dangerous; or
(b) as a member of a band or gang organized for carrying out homicide or armed robbery: or
(c) to further or to conceal another crine; is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for life, or death.
(2) Death sentence shall be passed where the offender has committed murder in the first degree while serving a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for life.
But even in Article 522 the individual intent requirement is retained.
Ethiopia does not have a federal system. Some comparable provisions of the Ethiopian Penal Code are as follows. Article 474. Public Provocation to or Defence of a Crime
Whosoever publicly, by word of mouth, writing, image, gesture or otherwise :
(a) provokes others to commit acts of violence or grave offences against the community, individuals or property; or
(b) defends or praises such offence or its perpetrator; or
(c) launches an appeal or starts a collection for the payment of pecuniary punishments pronounced by due process of law, with the intention of making common cause with the convicted person or of upholding his deed or of showing disapproval of the authorities, or who knowingly takes part in such activities, is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine. Article 475. Prohibited Traffic in Arms
(a) apart from offences against the security of the State (Art. 254), makes, imports, exports or transports, acquires, receives, stores or hides, offers for sale, puts into circulation or distributes, without special authorisation or contrary to law, weapons or munitions of any kind; or
(b) without indulging in trafficking, knowingly sells, delivers or hands over arms to suspect or dangerous persons, is punishable with simple imprisonment, without prejudice to the imposition of a fine, where he has acted for gain or has made a profession of such activities, and to confiscation of material seized.
(2) Occasional violations of police regulations, and the carrying or use of prohibited weapons, are subject to the penalties for petty offences (Art. 763 and 764). Article 478. Forbidden Assemblies
(1) Whosoever forms, organizes or commands, on the public highway or in a public place, assemblies forbidden by law, or of his own free will takes part in them, is punishable with a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars. Ringleaders, organizers or commanders are punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year.
(2) Where the unlawful assembly is armed, simple imprisonment shall be for at least three months, and may be increased up to the general maximum in the case of ringleaders, organizers and commanders and those who have carried weapons or knew that weapons were being carried. Article 479. Alarming the Public
(1) Whosoever spreads alarm among the public:
(a) by threat of danger to the community; or to the life, health or property of individuals, especially that of invasion, assassination, fire, devastation or pillage; or
(b) by deliberately spreading false rumours concerning such happenings or general disturbances, or imminent catastrophe or calamity, is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(2) In more serious cases likely to cause, or having caused, serious disturbances or disorder, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceed ing three years, subject to the application, as appropriate, of more severe specifir provisions where there are criminal consequences. Article 480. False Rumours and Incitement to Breaches of the Peace
Whosoever, apart from offences against the security of the State (Art. 252, 269 (e) and 273(a)):
(a) starts or spreads false rumours, suspicions or false charges against the Government or the public authorities or their activities, thereby disturbing or inflaming public opinion, or creating a danger of public disturbances; or
(b) by whatever accusation or any other means foments dissension, arouses hatred, or stirs up acts of violence or political, racial or religious disturbances, is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine. Article 482. Rioting
(1) Whosoever, of his own free will, takes part in an unlawful assembly in the course of which violence is done collectively to person, estate or property, is punishable with simple imprisonment for at least one month, or fine.
(2) The organizers, instigators or ringleaders are punishable with fine and with simple imprisonment for not less than six months or, in grave cases, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years. All persons who have individually committed acts of violence against person or property are punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding three years, where their act does not constitute an offence subject to more severe punishment under any other provision of this Code.
QUESTION 16 The Ethiopian Penal Code does have articles the object of which are similar to $1104 (Para-Military Activities) of the Proposed Federal Code, except that “political purposes" are not required as the object of the activity. These articles are designed to be supplemented by administrative regulations. Article 476. Forbidden Societies and Meetings
(a) founds, organizes or commands a society, band, meetings or assemblies forbidden, either generally or from time to time by law, by the Government or by the competent authority; or
(b) knowingly takes part in such activities; or
(c) knowingly places premises or land at the disposal of forbidden societies, meetings or demonstrations, whether for consideration or free of charge, is punishable with a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars. Ringleaders, organizers or commanders are punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding six months. Article 477. Secret Societies and Armed Bands
Where unlawful societies whose activities and meetings are secret, or unlawful armed societies or bands, especially for military training or shooting, or ostensibly sporting in character, are involved, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment and a fine, which may be up to the general maximum in the case of organizers, commanders or active members.
QUESTION 17-A. DRUGS
Book IV of the Special Part of the Ethiopian Penal Code is entitled "Offences Against the Public Interest or the Community.” Title VIII of Book IV, "Offences Against Public Health,” contains an article concerning drugs. Article 510. Production, Making or Distribution of Poisonous or Narcotic
Substances (1) Whosoever, without lawful authority, produces or makes, transforms, imports, exports or transports, acquires or receives, stores, offers for sale or distributes, or procures for another, poisons, drugs or narcotic substances, is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than three months, and with fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars.
(2) The same punishment may be inflicted upon anyone who knowingly places at the disposal of another, even privately, premises where the taking of drugs or narcotic substances is practised.
(3) The court may pass sentence of rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years and impose a fine not exceeding thirty thousand dollars:
(a) where the offence is committed by a band or association organized for this traffic, or by a person who makes a profession of such felonious activities;
(b) where such forbidden toxic substance or access to the premises is furnished knowingly, for gain or for an improper motive, to an infant or young person, a mental defective or a drug addict.
Section (2) appears designed to encourage landlords to inform police authorities of drug abuse discovered on their premises.
QUESTION 17-B. ABORTION
The Ethiopian Penal Code contains extensive provisions relating to abortion (Articles 528–536). Generally, the deliberate termination of a pregnancy is an offense (Article 528). The nature and extent of the punishment (Article 529) depends upon whether the abortion is procured by the pregnant woman herself or by another person, in which case the penalty is greater, and in the latter case