College Of Law



The Faculty of Law at Haramaya University had a strong start in 2002 (1995 E.C.) with100 students in the L.L.B. program and130 students in the diploma program. It started launching this program with five staff members. Since then the faculty has grown to over 725 students and 30 instructors including local and expatriate staff and part-time practitioners. Apart from its regular program, the faculty has also been well engaged in continuing, summer and distance education programs.

The Faculty has settled permanently at the main campus where it has expanded its projects and facilities. One of the great strengths of the Faculty has been its diverse teaching staff and active student body. Students have performed with distinction in several international moot courts including the WTO moot court in Geneva, the African Human Rights Moot Court in Senegal, the Jessup International Law Moot Court in Washington D.C., and the International Humanitarian Law Moot Court in Tanzania in which in 2007 we placed 2nd among all the teams.

Like most law faculties in Ethiopia, the law faculty at Haramaya does not have separate departments, so every law graduate is trained in all parts of the law. The faculty has operated under different curriculums, most recently under the reformed curriculum of 2006. The government of Ethiopia through its Ministry of Capacity Building has invested heavily in legal education reform, expanding legal programs in Ethiopia and developing a five-year curriculum for all Ethiopian law faculties.

The need for the redesigning of the new curriculum was felt when, inter alia; the following multifarious problems had been identified with the old law curriculum:

  • Absence of courses consciously designed to emphasize the centrality of good governance, democratization, economic development and social justice and other constitutional values
  • Lack of sufficient number of skill oriented courses
  • Lack of stress on ethical, technological, environmental and global concerns
  • Lack of adequate number of courses that shape the ethical expectations and responsibilities of a law graduates
  • Lack of gender sensitiveness
  • The curriculum lacks clear and adequate objectives
  • The curriculum lacks clearly and comprehensively stipulated graduate profiles
  • Lack of proper sequencing of courses
  • Generalist approach of the curriculum, that is that it does not give adequate choice to students for there were few elective courses

The reformed the new law curriculum which has also addressed the above mentioned problems of the old law curriculum was completed and put in place for freshmen students starting in 2006.



Haramaya University College of law aspires to be a center of quality higher learning and research with community of scholars devoted to producing well-trained, competent, and responsible legal professionals who could make a significant impact in Ethiopia’s socio-economic development, democracy, good governance, and social justice.


Haramaya law College seeks to enhance democracy, good governance, tolerance, equality, social justice and economic development for the people of Ethiopia through quality programs of teaching, research and public service.


  • Academic Calendar

The course of study for the L.L.B. degree is five years. The normal academic year will run 32 weeks or eight calendar months during which time classes will be scheduled regularly.

  • Theory-Based Courses

Many of the first, second, and third year required courses are to help students to familiarize themselves with the major law subjects like contracts, property, extra-contractual liability, constitutional law, and criminal law. These courses will provide the students with an overview of the codes of Ethiopia and introduce the students to basic government policy.

  • Skills-Based Courses

Other courses in the first, second, and third year are designed to help the student learn by doing. This includes legal research and legal writing courses. By the fourth year students will be introduced to the practical aspects of the practice of law like trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, and legislative drafting.

  • Student Specialization

In the fourth and fifth years the students will have many opportunities to take elective courses. This will allow students to focus on areas that interest them most and examine in greater depth a particular subject area. There is an optional senior research paper that a student may write under the direction of a faculty expert.

  • Clinical Programs and Externship

The clinics and externship are to give the student the opportunity to gain practical work experience while still in school. Clinical programs will depend on the areas of expertise of the faculty and on the needs of the local community. Examples include Family Law Clinic, Restorative Justice Clinic, and Rights of Prisoners Clinic.

  • Exit Exams I and II

The law faculty will administer a national exit exam in the fifth year of study which will be a requirement for graduation.


The Ministry of Education or in special cases the university determines the admission criteria of law students. Admission to the law faculty will be based on students’ interest and his or her performance in the Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Certificate Examination, which is given at the end of the second preparatory year in high schools. Female applicants will be given priority for admission.


  1. Social Justice Center

Social Justice Center was established with the aim to provide a favorable ground for human rights advocacy and research, to offer free legal aid service for the vulnerable portion of the society, and to provide quality legal education which will produce competent legal professionals who will help in the socio-economic development of the country.
In order to accomplish the objectives of the Center as well as to effectively carry out the various activities, it is necessary to devise programme areas which incorporate all the activities in a systematic manner. Hence, Education and Training, Research and Publication, and Legal Aid and Litigation are designed as programme areas.

Education and Training Programme
This programme employs focused education and training programs aimed at raising the awareness of the general public, the poor, vulnerable and the disadvantaged, the university community, the justice sector and other relevant government bodies about human rights and basic as well as advanced legal education.

Research and Publication Programme
This programme is aimed at conducting various researches and publications on various thematic human rights issues, the law and practices. Based on the research findings, it will also take on advocacy initiatives for law and policy change based on the research findings. The researches will also be published on the Social Justice Center’s publications and the College of Law Journal.

Legal Aid and Litigation Programme
This programme focuses on assisting the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable to realize their right to access to justice. In addition, it will also take Public Interest Cases to the court of law on various issues which will affect the rights of the community at large.

  1. Environment Policy Center

Created in part to further develop the original reason for Haramaya University’s construction, namely meeting the needs of those involved in agriculture and the public that depends on their hard work. More than most other nations, Ethiopia’s population predominately depends on agriculture and pastoralism for their livelihoods, something that legal institutions in this country have traditionally needed more work in recognizing. The Environmental Law Center will seek to help to fill this under-serviced area of law by creating, among other things, more scholarship on the scope of environmental problems existing in Ethiopia, promotion of local projects aimed at fulfilling both economic and environmental objectives, raising awareness of Ethiopian environmental laws and regulations among the general public, increasing the availability of courses specializing in Ethiopian environmental law at Haramaya University Law School, and bringing together academics, practitioners, and policy makers to debate discuss and propose solutions on major environmental issues that exist both in Ethiopia and the outside world.

  1. Advocacy Skills Center

Continuing the vigorous attempts at legal education reforms started by the Ethiopian government through the Ministry of Capacity Building and its local partner Haramaya University Law School, the Advocacy Skills Center seeks to foster legal research, trial advocacy, and legal clinics which allows students to represent indigent clients. The Advocacy Skills Center would organize moot court and mock tiral competitions for students and forums and workshops or students, lawyers, judges and layperson on advocacy skills and dispute resolution It will also be researching court proceedings, advocacy skills and alternate dispute resolution and would then provide access to that research to the faculty and the legal community.