Evaluating issues related with consolidation of investigation, prosecution and adjudication powers under the Ethiopian Competition Authority: a comparative analysis
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Ethiopia currently enacted a Trade Competition and Consumer Protection law in 2013 that established an autonomous Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority an institution responsible for the implementation competition law. Among other things, the law entitled the Authority with the powers of investigation, prosecution and adjudication. Besides these investigative, prosecution and adjudicative organs under the Authority, the law also established an appellate tribunal named the Federal Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Appellate Tribunal. Organizationally, the three organs of the Authority are under the direct and mandates of the Authority. They are not entitled with their own independence and status of a juristic person, like the experiences of other jurisdictions. Moreover, the Trade Competition and Consumer Protection law does not clearly define the independence and accountability of the Federal Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Appellate Tribunal. Structurally to whom the tribunal is accountable and issues related with administration of tribunal judges are not indicated under the law. The multiplicity of powers and functions held by the Authority qualify it as "Government in Miniature" due to the consolidation of powers of investigation, prosecution and adjudication it enjoy. This paper evaluates issues related with those of power consolidated monopolistically on the mandate of the Authority by the law and argues that the issues like independence, accountability, check and balance, fairness and as a result the notion of rule of law are not addressed well in the competition law in order to facilitate a fully fledged enforcement of the competition cases.