2. CONCEPTUAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK REGARDING POSSESSION AND POSSESSORY ACTION
2.1. Property Rights: Meaning and Nature
Property is a term derived from the Latin word’properietate’ and the French equivalent ‘proprius’ which means a thing owned . The concept of property is very close to the concept of ownership, as one of them cannot exist without the other.
2.1.1. Meaning of Property Right
Even if there is no clear cut definition of the term, scholars have tried to define the concept of property. I have discussed some of them here under. According to Locke “Every man has a property in his own person. Every one individual has his right to preserve his property that includes his liberty and estate .” According to this definition, property includes both things and (estate) and rights (liberty). According to Bentham, property is nothing more than the basis of certain expectation of deriving thereafter certain advantages by a thing the reason of the relation in which we stand towards it…There is no image or visible lineament that constitutes property. It belongs not to physics, but to metaphysics. It is altogether a conception of mind .”For Bentham, property is nothing more than the expectation of deriving some advantages from the relation one can have with the things he holds. Another important definition given to the term is the one that is given by Austin. For Austin property is the greatest right of enjoyment.
2.1.2. Nature of Property Rights
First of all, “property is an exclusiveright to control, use, transfer, not a thing. Property as a right includes; a right to exclude all other persons from controlling, using or disposing the thing a right to retake the thing in the event of unlawful dispossession .”It is a real right/right in rem not a personal right/right in personam . Real right means, in civil laws, a right that is attached to a thing rather than a person. It includes ownership, use, pledge, usufruct, mortgage, habitation, and predial servitude .
Property rights, real rights, do not produce legal effect unless thei acquisition either originally or through derivative meanses, is lawful . Basically, this is because property law does not protect resources acquired through coercion, theft, or deception . A property right gained lawfully will then, confer up on the holder of such property, a series of decision making power in relation to such thing.
By their nature, property rights tare rights that can be exerted against the whole world. It is that, the owner can exclude other from the resource owned and that others have a duty not to infringe this right . Property rights are not absolute rights, for various causes. A limitation on property rights is aprima facie because the right of the owner of a thing to exclude others can be overridden by societal goals or in the interest of other persons .
2.1.3. Types of Property Rights
Property as a right includes; a right to exclude all other persons from controlling, using or disposing the thing a right to retake the thing in the event of unlawful dispossession . It includes ownership, use, pledge, usufruct, mortgage, habitation, and predial servitude . Ownership is the legal right to possession of a thing and includes the person’s right to use and enjoy the thing or dispose or to convey it up on someone .Possession is the second main constituent of property rights next to ownership. It is ownership short of the right to dispose. The possessor can control use and enjoy it. Use right as a property right is a right to possess and use a thing that belongs to the bare owner .
2.2.1. Theoretical Framework for Defining Possession
Although much effort has been made to make the concept, meaning of possession remain to be ambiguous and complex as it is used to be . However, because, possession of thing is essential for survival of human beings people need to continue try to explain the concept despite its ambiguity. Although people interact with things in different capacities, not all such interactions will give rise to possession right over those things, as it has been explained under the following theories.
126.96.36.199. Classical/Subjective/Savigny’s Theory
Savigny define possession as a combination of a material element, the corpus (corresponding to the material element over a thing) and the animus referring to the mental state of the possessor, who had to demonstrate the intent to possess ‘as the owner’ or ‘animus domini'(397 check). Thus according to savigny’s theory, the connection between possession and right of ownership lay in the intentional element, the animus domini. Analogically, the demarcation between possessor and detentor also rested in the animus. According to this theory, it is not possible for two or more persons to have possession over the same thing, unless they are joint owners . It emphasis on the mental element and the required degree is the wish to possess a thing for one self as an owner and, therefore, for Savigny persons who merely intends to use but not to own a thing under their control could not be possessor , but detentor. This is because for the subjective theory of possession animus is not presumed . Hence, according to savigny, because this person was only a ‘detentor,’ not a possessor, possessory actions were not available to him.
The Civil Code also seems to have reflected the two elements discussed by Savigny’s theory. The civil code reads that possession contains in the actual control of the thing and possession can be exercised through third party, indirectly, who holds such a thing . Unlike the Savigny’s theory, although it discusses the two elements, the civil code has never required the two elements to exist simultaneously, for a possession to have a legal effect .
188.8.131.52. Objective/Jihering’s Theory
Jihering, unlike savigny who has emphasized on the subjective, have favored an objective approach and rejected the subjective element on defining possession. Accordingly, he define possession as a power of fact corresponding to the exercise any of the power inherent in the ownership .Which mean, accordingly a possessor is a man who, in relation to a thing resembles an owner, i.e., who hasdirect physical control of such thing, irrespective of the animus domini.The objective theory questions the subjective theory how the Roman law give possession to those who control someone’s property , and it explains those cases, which were difficult to Savigny such as the pledgee and the usufructuary that were given possession right. For Jihering, the animus can be inferred from the factual physical control and the owner may use the thing himself or grant his ownership right to a third party. This implies that possessory actions are open to a wider number of persons, even to those who would lack animus domini, in accordance with savigny’s theory.
Unlike Savigny, Jihering differentiates between detentor and possessor, based on the nature of caouse of the possession, not based on animus domino. Accordingly, a person is detentor when the cause of his possession is of the nature that shows possession on behalf of another, and he is possessor when nature of cause of his possession is of such character that shows he is possessing on his own behalf . As opposed to the subjective theory, the objective theory of possession tends to accept the idea that two or more persons may have economic interest over a single thing at the same time, even out of the scenarios of joint ownership .
Article 1140 of the civil code seems to have expressly included this theory. It states possession consists in the actual control of the thing i.e., which means, the person who holds a thing and have an actual control of it is presumed to be the possessor there of, irrespective of whether he is holding and controlling the thing on his or somebody else’s behalf.
184.108.40.206. Realist Theory
“…There are many meanings of the word ‘possession’,that possession can only be usefullydefined with reference to purpose it may have in hand; and that possession may have one meaning in one connection and another meaning in another . As it can be inferred from this scholarly assertion, one cannot allot a single definition to the term ‘possession’ by utilizing both or either the two elements, animus and physical control, as opposed to the above two theories. But rather, according to the realist theory, the meaning of the concept of possession rests on the pragmatic factors prevailing .
2.2.2. Types of Possession
Although there are a multiple of types of possession, I have purposely only discussed those which would have relevancy to my title.
220.127.116.11. Corporeal and Incorporeal Possession
While in civil law, objects of possession extends to real rights and other rights, Roman law on its behalf have made it clear that only material things could be made subject of possession . “It is a question much debated whether incorporeal possession is in reality true possession at all. Some are of opinion that all genuine possession is corporeal, and that the other is related to it by way of analogy merely’.
18.104.22.168.1. Corporeal Possession
Corporeal things are those things, which are having physical or material existence, wherein direct relationship with the thing, are possible. Therefore corporeal possession is the possession of material things, movable as well asimmovable .
Immovable things are those which cannot move or be moved without losing their individual character . Those things which cannot move or be moved but lose their physical character are land and buildings.Land is Land, including the soil on the surface of the earth, all of the water contained on or below the surface, oil & gas, etc. (unless separated from the estate via a mineral deed orwater rightsmatter), and most of the airspace above the surface . Therefore, possession of immovable means possession of buildings or land mainly. Movable things are those which are capable of moving or being moved without losing their individual character . Accordingly, possession of movables can be any tangible things other than, immovable, land and buildings
22.214.171.124.2. Incorporeal Possession
Incorporeal possession is a possession of something other than a material object, such as an easement over a neighbor’s land, or the access of light to the windows of a house . In short, it is possession of immaterial or intangible thingswhich do not have physical existence and therefore cannot be perceived by our senses. Therefore possession in respect of this thing is known as incorporeal possession. According to Salmond, corporeal possession is possession of an object whereas incorporeal possession is the possession of a right . It is generally accepted that in Roman law only corporeal things were initially regarded as things in the eyes of the law and capable of possession, but at an early stage, presumably during the late Republican period, theexistence of incorporeal things wererecognized .
126.96.36.199. Direct and Indirect Possession
A possessor may exercise control over a thing directly or indirectly through a third party who holds such a thing .The classification of possession as direct and indirect is based on who has physical control over the property, and it is accordingly called direct or immediate when the person having intention to possess also have physical control of the property, and the possession is called indirect or mediate when the one who is not actually controlling the thing is entitled to recover control of it, by virtue of some relationship with the mere detentor . Such classification of possession shows the possibility of two or more persons possession of the same thing at the same time for the purpose of economic benefit, thereby replacing intention to exclude other by the intention to benefit from the same thing .
188.8.131.52.1. Direct Possession
In a direct possession, the person who is in the actual control of the thing is possessor, unless he is detentor . A detentor is a person who exercise control over a thing for another by reason of the position he occupies in his household or business or when such person is subject to the instruction of another in relation to the thing . In a direct possession, as the thing is in possession of the possessor directly, he has higher degree of control over the thing, and it means that there is no other person controlling the thing .
184.108.40.206.2. Indirect Possession
Indirect possession arises when possession is exercised over the same thing by different possessors in different manners as in the case of bailment. In bailment, the bailor(owner) give it to the bailee for particular purpose with the intention and expectation of taking it back .It is the Possession of a thing through another, either through his friend, servant for agent. As the thing remain, in possession with another, the possessor has lesser degree of physical control over such thing .Indirect possession creates a presumption that a person holds the thing for another person.Hence,a mere change in the intention of the holder will not make him possessor . It has to,but rather, be backed by either judicia or extra-judicial acts .
220.127.116.11.3. Adverse Possession
As defined under French law, adverse possession is continuous and uninterrupted, peaceful, public and unequivocal possession of real property (with emphasis), and in the capacity of an owner . The counterpart Hungary law defines the concept of adverse possession as acontinuous possession real property for fifteen years, or any other thing for ten years by a person,as his own thing . Acquiring title to real property byoccupying it openly, without the consent of the owner, for aperiod of time specified by the applicable state statute(http://business.olivet.edu/classes/bsns3521s/pdf/Chapter37.pdf, p. 6)
Adverse Possession Civil Laws
French law permits the acquisition of title to land by prescription over a 30year period if there is ‘…continuous and uninterrupted, peaceful, public and unequivocalpossession, and in the capacity of an owner .’The notion adverse of possession is satisfied if two elements arefulfilled, thus, that; the claimant bearing the onus of proof of objective physical possession such as an owner would have, and the subjective intent to exercise the material mastery on his own behalf, rather than on behalf of another .
If the possessor is in good faith, the period of prescription will be reduced for him from thirty years to twenty or even ten. But if the possessor is in bad faith, the prescription will remain to be thirty years. Like as it is under the French Civil Code, the Dutch Civil Code also provides that’…if a person has held uninterrupted possession and has acted in good faith, he may acquire ownership after 10 years , and where good faith is proven to be absent, an uninterrupted possession may give the possessor title after twenty years’ .
In other jurisdictions evidence of good faith is not a relevant consideration in relation to length of the period of prescription .The effect of prescriptive title is retroactive in the sense that the possessor isconsidered to be the owner from the first day of possession and all acts fromthat day will be valid. Once possession give rise to ownership through prescription, then there is nocompensation is payable to the original owner under French and the German laws.
In Germany, the proceedings must comply with the German Act of Civil Procedure . Only the possessor can apply for this court order. The proprietor will be asked to submit his rights before the court. Then the court, if it finds that the possession is in accordance with the laws, will give an order,that will exclude the former proprietor from his property. The land will become ownerless . The applicant can then make an informal request at the land register . Finally, when he is entered into the register as owner, he becomes proprietor of the land
Adverse Possession in common Laws
In USA all states within the federation recognize adverse possessionwill entitle the possessor with title after limitation periods ranging from 5-40 years. Inaddition to varying time limitations, there are differences among states as tothe role of good faith as a necessary condition for adverse possession and asto certain categories of land type and use . Unlike as in the civil law, in common laws where land is registered, some states have abolished the capacity to acquire land by prescription while retaining the right in respect of unregistered land.
In New Zealand a person in adversepossession of land for a continuous period of not less than 20 years can apply for a certificate of title notwithstanding the existence of the registration of some other person as the proprietor of the land. The application can be defeatedif, after the application has been advertised and notified to all availablerelevant parties, some other person establishes a better title .
Massachusetts has a special land registration system in which a question of title can be brought to the “land Court” which investigates and evaluates the merits the claim. Based on its findings the court can issue a new certificate title .
2.2.3. Nature of Possession
According to Salmond, in the whole range of legal theory there is no conception more difficult than that of possession”….It is not the question of one of mere curiosity or scientific interest, for its practical importance is not less than its difficulty .” Possession, literary mean physical control over things or objects. It expresses the closest relation of fact that can exist between a thing and the person, who possess it. In law, possession includes not only physical control over a thing but also an intention to exercise that physical control .
18.104.22.168. Is Possession a Property Right or Fact?
When it comes to the justifications for possessory protection, the question that is usually broached is whether possession is a right or a fact. It is oftenassumed that common law tends to treat possession as a right whereas thecivil law tradition considers possession to be a fact. This conflict is not asobvious as it has sometimes been presented. From a common-law point ofview, possession tends to have more autonomy from ownership, whereas,from a civilian perspective, it remains linked to ownership . In explaining the controversy, two of the following theories can be mentioned in the first place. For pullock, advocator of the entitlement theory of possession, possession is a property right and should be protected as the same, because it maximizes wealth. For the entitlement theory, possession is a property right for it can be assigned or inherited and id therefore, worthy of protection itself. What is more, for Pullock, possession in law is a substantive right or interest which exists and has legal incidents and advantages apart from the true owner’s title .
Contrary to the entitlement theory of pullock on possession, the continuity theory of possession states that the law protects continuity of the possession, not the possession, without regard to existence of a definite right. Therefore, accordingly, the law only tries to avoid the inconvenience or damage that arises out of dispossession and is not protected as an entitlement byitself.
22.214.171.124. Scope of Possession Right
“Possession is the detention or enjoyment of a thing or of a right which we hold or exercise by ourselves, or by another who holds and exercises it in our name .” From this definition given to possession by the French civil code, possession primarily includes the right to physically control the thing and the right to use the thing over which one has possession. On his lecture, Manaye states that, possession can be lawfully acquired through consent among others by lease. From this assertion, one can hopefully conclude that, a possessor can transfer his possession right over a thing by lease, like he can donate or abandon.
126.96.36.199. Distinguishing Possession from Other Property Rights
While possession is physical control over a thing or an object, Ownership on the other hand is a legitimate and absolute right of a person over a thing (Available at, https://www.srdlawnotes.com/2017/03/distinction-difference-between_24.html, accessed on June 04/2018). The difference that possession has from usufruct is the right of using and enjoying things or rights subject to the duty of preserving their substance
188.8.131.52. Protection of Possession Rights
The law protects possession by presuming the possessor to be the owner until someone else proves a better right to the thing than the possessor. Possession is accorded with both civil and criminal law protections. The two main civil remedies and protection are the self help protection mechanism, also called as use of force in many jurisdictions, and possessory action. Possessory protection can be obtained through various actions. In civil law, the possessory action traditionally enables the protection of the dispossessed possessor of an immovable or the possessor whose possession is disrupted (Normand, Introduction au droit des biens (n 1) 306).While the action ‘complainte’puts an end to the disruption of possession (Lafond, Précis de droit des biens (n 1) 238, On Why protect Possession?Yaëll Emerich foot note 1o, p. 32),the action ‘reintegrande’ aims to recover possession after a violent dispossession or a serious wrongful act. This is due to the ambiguity of the notion of possession(F Pollock and R S Wright, Possession in the Common Law (1888) and the frequent overlap between possession and ownership in the common law, where ownership is often described as the best right to possession(U Mattei, Basic Principles of Property Law: A Comparative Legal and Economic Introduction (2000) 172. See also A Clarke and P Kohler, Property Law (2005) 282.)
184.108.40.206. Acquisition of Possession Rights
There are two modes of acquiring possession; delivery and taking (possession)(https://www.srdlawnotes.com/2017/02/possession.html). From this, it can be said that, while the acquisition of possession by delivery is arise from contract, getting possession right through taking is because it is recognized and protected as so, by law. Delivery completes voluntary act from one person to another. It is to take possession of a thing with consent of the prior owner. Since it is based on consent of the prior possessor, delivery usually is the lawful mode of acquiring possession(https://www.srdlawnotes.com/2017/02/possession.html). Delivery, literally(actual delivery) is a physical handing over of athing to another and can also be conducted without physically handing over of the thing to another and it may require the surrender of person who is is in its direct possession (Henery T.Terry, ‘Possession’, 13,11, L.R. P. 312).Grounds of possession through delivery can be sale contract, donation or will. Taking is the second mode of acquiring possession over a thing, and it is made without the consent of previous possessor as it is made by an exclusive act of the one who take a physical control of the thing(https://www.srdlawnotes.com/2017/02/possession.html). Possession by taking may be lawful or not(Ibid) When it is lawful, then it is legal possession(Ibid). In some scenarios, taking without consent can also be lawful, especially when the possession so made is of movable things and or through the rule of usucaption as some laws does.
2.2.4. Effect of Possession Rights
Once someone has a form of possession that the law will recognize, there are two legal consequences.” One is usucapion and the other is protection of possession in the form of possessory interdicts (David V. Snyder Possession: A Brief for Louisiana’s Rights of Succession to the Legacy of Roman law, Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington 1992). Possession that is free from defect has numerous legal consequences. It can be transferred by agreement or delivery, It can be inherited. It can be protected from interference or loss (Murado152). Possession may create ownership either by occupation, through acquisitive prescription (Teaching mat. P..).. Possession is a prima facie evidence and a strong indicator of ownership (Murado Ibid), and he who would disturb a possessor must show either title/ownership or a better possessory right and defense of lack of legal title by the possessor may not be set up him. Possession is the basis for certain remedies because the law protects a possessor, as it does not always know that a possession in question is unlawful. The doctrine that in most cases possessors are the rightful owners may not be historically accurate, but it is convenient for the law to reward possession as well- founded, at least until a superior title is shown to exist(Teaching).
2.2.5. Defective Possession
Defect, in ordinary English is lack of some constituting element. Similarly, coming to possession, defect in possession refer to the missing of its constituting two elements. Defects of possession may be caused by flaws either in the mental element or the nature in which physical control is acquired (Manaye). The defect in possession based on which element has been missed, may take different forms.
Defect in Possession is Precarious when the possession is unwarranted or risky possession (Ibid). A person who holds a thing on behalf of another is a mere holder and is not a possessor. Mere holding doesn’t make you a possessor where there is an owner or another person with a better possession right animus. The defect in possession is clandestine when it is surreptitious, covert or secret holding. It is a type of possession that tends to create a presumption of absence of right in the eyes of third parties, and it can be defect in either of animus or control (Ibid). The third type of defect in possession is dubious possession whether the person is a possessor or he/she is detaining it on behalf of another person due to animus defect. Finally, the other defect in possession is related with legality or illegality of the possession, and it is defective when the way it is acquired is illegal or through violence.
2.2.6. Extinction of Possession Rights
In civil law’possession may be los as a result of the loss of the corpus or the animus or of both elements’ (Mattei 542). This loss of the elements may be with or without consent of the possessor (John Bouvier, A Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America and the Several States of the American Union, Childs & Peterson 1856). It is lost with consent when the possessor transfers his possession to another with the intention to divest himself of it, and also when he does some act, which manifests his intention of abandoning possession (Louisiana Civil code Id. art. 3411). On the other hand it is called a possessor of an estate loses the possession against his consent when another expels him from it, whether by force in driving him away, or by usurping possession during his absence, and preventing him from reentering and when the possessor of an estate allows it to be usurped, and held for a year, without, during that time, having done any act of possession, or interfered with the usurper’s possession (Id. art. 3412.) When loss of possession is involuntary, the possession as a right will not be necessarily lost by the loss of factual control, as long as this loss is temporary and/or possession can be recovered by a possessory action (action for recovery of possession (M.E. Storme, Gent 2002 46 part II, (Acquisition and Loss of Possession and of Property, 2002. P. 57).
2.3. POSSESSORY ACTION
An action to obtain, recover, or maintain possession of property but not title to it, such as an action to evict a nonpaying tenat is, termed as possessory action or possessorium((Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th ed.p,.33). An action has for its immediate object to obtain or recover the actual possession of the subject matter. Possessory action is an action founded based on possession and it is distinguished from the petitory action which is available for the recognition and enforcement of ownership or of real rights in another immovable, such as a usufruct, limited personal servitudes, and predial servitudes.'( A.N. Yiannapoulos, Civil Law Property, 4th ed. P. 653).
2.3.2. Nature of Possessory Action
In France, a possessory action that applies to immovable is called ‘complainte'(murado 140) and for such ‘complainte’ to be successful, it need to meet some requirements. First,the defendant must have acted, so as to infringe with the plaintiff’s possession. Secondly, the plaintiff must have had a legal possession over the immovable for at least a year and his possession has to be fee from defects, it has to be continuous, peaceful, pubic and unequivocal(ibid). Unlike as in France, there is no distinction between movables and immovable as far as possessory action is concerned, and it does not also require minimum period of possession.(Murado 174) . In German the possessory action includes an action to recover a dispossessed property and an action to claim for removal of disturbance and injunction against further disturbance. These two possessory claims exist even if the possession is defective, unlike that of France. However, the claims are excluded only when possession of the plaintiff is defective in relation to possession of the defendant(Ryan ).
2.3.3. Period of Limitation
In France (Mattei, Basic Principles of Property Law; A comparative legal and economic introduction, London, Green wood Press.p 174) and German (Ryan 153-156)the period of limitation to institute possessory action is one year from the occurrence of the act of dispossession or infringement.
2.4. A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF POSSESSION RIGHT AND POSSESSORY ACTION IN ETHIOPIA
2.4.1. Historical Background
2.4.2. The Legal Frameworks
220.127.116.11. Federal Legislations
There are little federal legislations that govern possession of property directly. However, the following laws come first in the mind of the one who is searching for federal legislations on possession. These are;
A. The Civil Code
The civil code of the Empire of Ethiopia, so proclaimed in the nineteen sixty’s is one of the outcome of the mega codification project by the Emperor and it is now the oldest law among the current laws governing the issue of possession and possessory action under Ethiopian laws. Book III of the Code, deal with goods and Title VI of the same discusses about goods in general and possession. Specifically, the code allotted ten provisions (1140-1150) that deal with possession and possessory action. Within these ten provisions it tries to govern definition of possession, types of possession as direct and indirect, transfer of possession, scenarios when possession can be defective and protections of possession. Although, it is not within the chapter it governs possession, it deals with adverse possession under title it allotted for individual ownership, under article 1168.
B. The FDRE Constitution
The 1995 FDRE Constitution is the first of its type to recognize the peoples ownership and use right to land. It states “Every Ethiopian citizen has the right to the ownership of private property. Unless prescribed otherwise by law on account of public interest, this right shall include the right to acquire, to use and, in a manner compatible with the rights of other citizens, to dispose of such property by sale or bequest or to transfer it otherwise (Art 40/1).”It expressly provide for the right to ownership of rural and urban land(40/3) and that land is a common property of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia and shall not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange.
C. Proclamation 456/2004
Among the many issues it governs, its dealing with an acquisition of rural land use right, its duration, transfer right, obligation of rural land users and most importantly, it impose duty on regional states to enact their own land use right legislation with a sufficient detail(Art 17/2).
D. Urban Land Lease Proclamation 721/2011
Principally it is legislated to govern, the issue of urban land lease and the mode of converting old possession of urban land in to the lease hold system.
E. Proclamation No. 818/214
It governs registration of urban land so as to govern registration of urban land holding because it is necessary to minimize disputes raised related to land and immovable property and enable the possessor to enjoy the property he develops in accordance with the law.
F. The Civil Procedure Code
Although, the civil procedure code has nothing to do with the substance of possession right and possessory action, it governs
18.104.22.168. Regional State Land Laws
These regional states have the power to administer land and other natural resource in accordance with federal laws(The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, 1995, art 51/2/d) Pro. No 01, Neg.Gaz. ,Year 1).Not only they have a power and the right, but also a duty imposed up on them by the federal rural land use proclamation(Art, 17/1 of the Rural Land use Proclamation impose duty on the regional states to enact their own land use right legislation with a sufficient detail). Therefore, regional states can and have accordingly make their own laws to govern land use. Although there are nine federating regional states (Con. 47/1), since three of the regions; Oromia, Amhara and SNNPRS can make majority of the country both in terms of population and geographic coverage, I have only made refer to laws of these regional states laws on the matter as follows.
22.214.171.124.1. Oromia Regional State Land Laws
A. Proclamation No. 130/2007 Oromia Rural Land Use and Administration Amendment Proclamation
Although it is a proclamation mainly enacted to govern use and administration of rural land in Oromia region, it also governs definition of possession in relation to rural land, people’s right to possess rural land and it discusses the institution and procedures to solve disputes over land which may one of such be dispute over possession and may accordingly be possessory action.
B. Regulation No. 151/2009 A Regulation to Provide for Oromia Rural Land Use and Administration: It is a regulation to provide for the implementation of the land use proclamation. It governs the issues addressed by the proclamation in a more detailed manner.
126.96.36.199.2. Amhara Regional State Laws
A. Proclamation No. 133/2006 Revised Rural Land Administration and Use of
The Amhara National Regional State
It is a proclamation mainly enacted to govern use and administration of rural land in Amhara region. Among the different issues it governs, it also governs peoples acquisition right to rural land, and it discusses the institution and procedures to solve disputes over land which may one of such be dispute over possession and may accordingly be possessory action.
B. Regulation No. 51/2007 the Rural Land Administration: It is a regulation to provide for the implementation of the revised land use proclamation of Amhara regional state. It governs the issues addressed by the proclamation, issues like acquisition right to rural land, and it discusses the institution and procedures to solve disputes over land which may one of such be dispute over possession in a more detailed manner.
188.8.131.52.3. SNNPRS Land Laws
A. Proclamation No. 110/1999 Rural Land Use and Administration proclamation
Like the above two regional state proclamation on rural land use, it was also enacted, mainly, to govern use and administration of rural land in SNNPRS. Among the different issues it governs, it also governs peoples acquisition right to rural land, and it discusses the institution and procedures to solve disputes over land which may one of such be dispute over possession and may accordingly be possessory action.
184.108.40.206. The Federal Supreme Court Cassation Decisions
One among the recent and major development in the era of Ethiopian legal system is the beginning of Federal Cassation decisions to bind future rulings on the same issues, as though they were laws (Art. 2/1 of the Federal Courts Establishment Reamendment Proclamation). Therefore, the decisions given by the federal Supreme Court cassation bench, on issues of possession and possessory actions have also the status of law and will govern disputes related to possession and possessory actions.