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Justice in Ethiopia

The data on this page is drawn from a Justice Needs and Satisfaction survey conducted by HiiL in Ethiopia. We interviewed over 5000 randomly selected adults across 6 states in the country in 2019. In 2020, we launched a report that gives a voice to the justice the needs and experiences of millions of Ethiopians.


legal problems
0 %
Took action to resolve their problem
0 %
Completely or partially resolved their problem
0 %
Number of people interviewed in Ethiopia

 On this page, you can explore the story of justice problems in the everyday life of citizens in Ethiopia using interactive charts. People told us how the problems affect them, what they do to resolve them and how they experienced the formal and informal justice system. 

This is the justice story as the people in Ethiopia encounter and feel it.

Read the full report on justice needs of people in Ethiopia here

How people experience justice in Ethiopia

Have you encountered one or more legal problems?

A legal problem is a problem that takes place in daily life – a dispute, disagreement or grievance for which there is a resolution in the (formal or informal) law. It does not matter if the individual sees it as legal or whether she took action to resolve it.

The chart shows how many adults in Ethiopia encountered one or more legal problems in the last 4 years. Overall, compared to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of legal problems that Ethiopians face is low. 

Where problems occur?

The map shows where in Ethiopia problems occur. It breaks down the incidence of legal problems per region.

Which are the most serious problems?

We asked people of Ethiopia to tell us about the legal problem which they assess as most serious.

The problems that people face are grouped into categories. For instance, Crime aggregates experiences with property, violent crime, fraud and so on.

The distribution of people’s most serious legal problems in Ethiopia is similar to what we see in other Sub-Saharan countries. Problems related to land, crime, neighbour, family, domestic violence and money are the most serious legal problems. 

How are problems resolved in Ethiopia?

Starting from the all people in Ethiopia, this chart shows how many people encounter legal problems, how many take action and ultimately how many problems are considered to be completely resolved.

What was the impact of the problem?

Legal problems affect people in various ways. Violence, stress, deterioration of important relationship and loss of job are possible consequences of legal problems.

Did you look for legal information and advice?

Information and advice are key for resolving legal problems. People need to know how to limit the damage, what to do and where to go to resolve the problem. 

We asked the people of Ethiopia if they sought information and advice to resolve the problem. This is what they have to say. 

Did you take action to resolve the problem?

When there is a legal problem, a well functioning legal system provides one or more dispute resolution mechanisms. We call the chains of these dispute resolution mechanisms justice journeys. 

We asked people in Ethiopia if they tried to resolve their legal problem. As indicated by the figure, we can see that majority of the Ethiopians try to resolve the problem.

Which was the most useful provider of justice?

People involve various providers of justice to resolve their problems. Here we asked Ethiopians which justice providers was most useful in resolving the problem.

Usefulness is a subjective concept. It allows the individual to consider the different providers involved and estimate which one had the most influence in the process of resolving the problem.

Is the problem resolved at the moment?

People need fair resolutions to their problems in order to continue further with their lives.

This chart show how people in Ethiopia assess the resolution of the problem at the time of the interview.

How do you assess the quality of justice?

Research shows that people assess three key elements of their justice journeys:

– Quality of the process

– Quality of the outcome

– Costs of accessing justice

This chart shows how citizens of Ethiopia perceive the three elements of their justice journey.