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Bahir Dar University School of Law has held a one day international curriculum review workshop to launch PhD program in Law today at Peda Campus, old Senate Hall.

In his introductory remark to the workshop, Ato Alebachew Birhanu, Director of the Law School, noted that because of the ever increasing demand for qualified legal professionals with high level training, the school has decided to expand its horizon of training into doctoral program in law, particularly in public international law and business law.

In the occasion, Ato Alebachew has also made a brief explanation about the law school and the activities it’s been undertaking to become a center of excellence in law and other related fields. The school is among the nation’s leading law schools in areas, such as the quality of education and training it provides and in the innovative postgraduate programs it run, according to Ato Alebachew. The school is also exemplary in terms of having a sustainable and reputable bi-annual legal journal, which has been serving as a forum for legal scholars and practitioners to publish quality manuscripts, he added. 

Speaking about the community engagement of the Law School, Ato Alebachew pointed out that the school has been providing free legal aid service to the vulnerable members of the society here in Bahir Dar and the surrounding woredas by involving its teaching staff as well as students.

In his opening remark to the workshop BDU’s Vice President for academic affairs, Dr. Matebe Tafere said that the lunching of the PhD program by the Law School is in line with the university’s vision of becoming one of a premier research university in Africa by 2025.

Given the critical need for highly trained legal professionals in the country, it is imperative for the School of Law to launch PhD program. This is specially necessary to ensure continuity in the knowledge building, keeping up-to-date with newly emerging rudiments in the legal system of the country as well as the global system.

BDU School of Law is going to be the Second law School in Ethiopia in launching PhD program in law preceded by Addis Ababa University School of Law just by one year. 

In the workshop, external reviewers from Addis Ababa University; Ghent University, Belgium; Kutztown University USA, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK have participated.

In addition, the School will also hold a curriculum review workshop tomorrow (25th of August, 2017) in order to launch additional two new masters programs (LLM in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution, and MA in Governance and Development Studies).

Bahir Dar University Journal of Law has been included and added into the HeinOnline Database. HeinOnline is one of the leading legal research database containing more than 150 million pages and 150,000 titles of legal history and government documents in fully searchable and image based format. HeinOnline bridges the gap in historical research by providing comprehensive coverage from inception of more than 2,400 law-related periodicals.  It is currently available to researchers worldwide in more than 3,500 physical locations in over 175 countries, thus being an excellent way to expose journals to researchers worldwide. 

Bahir Dar University Journal of Law is a reputable and bi-annual legal periodical which has been published by the law school since May 2010. The journal is a forum for legal scholars to publish manuscripts that meet intellectual quality and contribution for the legal profession and the administration of justice in general.

Bahir Dar University School of law has held May Seminar at old senate meeting hall, Peda campus. In the seminar research works conducted by the Law School staff in 2009 and the best senior thesis from graduating law students were presented.

Among others, researches conducted on ‘the law of pardon and parole and their enforcement in the Bahir Dar Prison Center’ by Belaynh Admasu(Ass. Prof) and Mr. Alemu Dagnaw are worth mentioning

The best senior thesis by Yemisrach Belay was made to be presented at the seminar following the decision of the School Academic Council. Yemisrach has done an exemplary work by analyzing the adequacy of international humanitarian in regulating explosive weapons and ruminants of war.   The School has taken this initiation to encourage and cultivate research culture of students in the School. It was taken as breakthrough and other academic units should take a lesson. In addition, the School has awarded the student.

Staff members, stake holders from different institutions who have close connection with research presented, and other interested individuals have attended the event.  The participants have forwarded critical and constructive feedbacks, and agreed to work in collaboration with the School to solve the problems discovered by the researches. 

LLM students of Business and Corporate Law, School of Law, BDU, are to represent the university in the 24th William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition in Vienna, Austria. We will be represented by Ayene Mengesha Sisay (who is also an academic staff at the law school) and Zena Abera Tesema.
The William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition is one of the most prestigious International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition whereby more than 340 universities around the world will take part in this year only. BDU and Cairo University are the only representatives from Africa in the competition. Such a global contest is the first for both BDU and Ethiopian universities in general.
In the first phase, BDU’s LLM students have submitted written memorials both as an applicant and respondent, and it is after a very competitive screening of memorials submitted by different universities that our team has advance to the oral round. Before participating in the oral litigation at Vienna, Austria(from April 6 – April 13), our representatives will participate in the pre-moot event organized at Heidelberg University, Germany(from March 31 – April 5).
In the preliminary round of the oral litigation, BDU representatives will be facing the representatives of Universidade de of De Brazilia (Brazil), Erasmus University (The Netherlands), New York University (USA) and ILS Law College, Pune (India). BDU wishes its students a great success.
This academic engagement of BDU, through global ties and academic partnerships, is part of its vision of joining hands with institutions working towards internationalization higher education and the assurance of its quality.

The 5th Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa took place from April 16-17, 2016 under the theme of “Africa in the Global Security Agenda.”

The forum is an informal gathering of a wide spectrum of African leaders and citizens: heads of state and government, leaders of regional organizations, civil society and the private sector, eminent scholars and practitioners, students and youth, and representatives of Africa's global partners. Forum participants are drawn from across the continent and overseas.

The Forum's mission is to further open a vigorous debate on the nature and causes of Africa's

Pressing security threats and, over time, cultivate a distinctively African voice on understanding and confronting the chief peace and security challenges the continent is facing.

Tana Forum Secretariat announced “2016 Tana Forum Universities’ Essay Competition” under the aforementioned theme.  The Competition is intended to be part of this consultative debate that is envisioned to contribute to policy building and development.

Around 17 Tana Forum Universities are invited to participate in the essay competition being represented by their masters or PhD Students. 

Accordingly, Bahir Dar University is represented by Mesfin Beyene, LLM candidate of Bahir Dar University School of Law.  Mesfin’s essay is ranked second next to a student of Nairobi University who is a PhD candidate.  Asked to reflect his feeling, Mesfin stated that “Even though it was pain-staking task and responsibility to me to compete with top-ranked continental universities represented mostly by PhD students, finally I did it.” He also acknowledged Law School Administration and academic staff for assistance he received during the competition.

The school of Law boldly appreciates Mesfin Beyene for winning the competition and representing BDU and BDU School of Law in particular before continental forum. Congratulations!

The School also congratulates the entire Bahir Dar University Community for the recorded success.

Finally, we call upon our students to participate in research and community service goals the school wishes to attain.  

It is widely reported that ethinic Murle of South Sudan, which is geographically located on Ethio-South Sudanese border, killed more than 200 Nuer Ethinic people in Gambella, Ethiopia. Moreover, it has also put under its control more than 108 children and 2000 cattle. As a consequent to this, there is huge tension between ethinic Murle Armed Force and Ethiopian Military force. Ethiopian government officially declared that its military force will take any necessary action against Murle Armed Force to return the children back to their home country and rejoin their family.

Mr. Nega Ewnetie, senior International and Humanitarian Law professor of Bahir Dar Univesrity School of Law, after watching out all private, public, and social media releases has analyzed the legal issues involving in the armed conflict. He presented his observation on the last Friday Seminar (April 22, 2016) of the School of Law under the theme of “The Relationship between a State and an Organized Armed Group and the Bearing on the Classification of Armed conflict: the Case of the Armed Conflict between the Defense Force of Ethiopia and the Ethnic Murle of South Sudan.” The academic staff and postgraduate students of the School of Law attended the session.

The presenter raised many issues based on existing facts leaving room open for further investigation. Among the issues he mainly capitalized on whether the murder caused by ethnic Murle of South Sudan is attributable to the government of south Sudan. This has raised hot academic debate. Many international legal frameworks are analyzed for academic purpose. It is apparently agreed that it is not right time to judge on this issue given that the facts released by medias are not enough and reliable as well.

Finally, participants confirmed that the observation of the presenter on this very topical issue has academic and practical importance.

BDU's School of Law has begun offering commercial arbitration as an alternative reconciliatory legal service based on the principle of the “win-win situation” to Ethiopia’s business community.
The new Center for Arbitration, in conjunction with Addis International Arbitration Group, offers a swift, affordable and expertise-based alternative way to resolve legal disputes, said the coordinator, Mr. Atakilti W/Abzgi.
BDU’s Law School, supported by non-governmental organizations, also runs a Free Legal Aid Center, providing legal services to citizens who cannot afford to pay.

On Saturday, April 12, the Moot Court Center at Bahir Dar University School of Law presented a public debate on issues pertaining to the Blue Nile river, and particularly the Renaissance Dam.
 
The debate was meant to inform the public and raise awareness about the legal issues related to the river. Two teams of three law students each took competing positions. The debate was followed by a panel of four Law faculty—Assistant Professors Worku Yazie and Ermias Ayalew, Law School Director Dr. Mizanie Abate, and Coordinator of the Moot Court Center Mr. Henok Bogale—who addressed questions and comments from the audience. Topics included: Ethiopia’s legal right to use the water; the effect of treaties and role of international law; and the risk of harm to lower riparian country, including Egypt.
 
Some 570 people attended the event at Mulualem Hall, including honored guest Mr. Binalf Andualem, Amhara National Regional State Vice President, as well as representatives from the business community and society at large, and high school and preparatory teachers. Highlights from the debate were broadcast on ETV.

BDU: Professor Pietro S. Togia of Kutztown University (USA) has donated various books to Bahir Dar University School of Law.
During a reception held at the Information and Strategic Communication Vice President’s Office, Vice President Molla Ababu and the University’s External Relations and Partnership Director Dr. Abiy Yigzaw appreciated Professor Pietro’s support of Bahir Dar University.
The two said that the addition of these books to the stacks of the university’s library will enhance the learning, teaching, research and consultancy efforts of the university.
Ato Molla lauded Professor Pietro’s commitment to the cause of education and research in the area of criminal justice.
He promised to work with Professor Pietro with a view to enhancing legal education focusing on criminal justice at Bahir Dar University.
Speaking at the same function, Dr. Abiy expressed his office’s interest in working in partnership with US universities to realize BDU’s vision in 2025.
Professor Pietro pledged to explore avenues for collaboration either to strengthen the various programs already running or to assist in initiating new projects.