The Lideta Division of the Federal High Court has moved its civil bench to a rented facility located close to Tor Hailochnear NOC Station.
The bench started operations on October 29, 2018 in the new building rented from Glorious Plc. The Court has 12 courtrooms to be used for 24 benches under two shifts. The courtrooms are partitioned with agrostone, a soundproof material, to reduce noise.
The labour tribunal and civil benches have been moved to the new building, while the criminal bench will continue operating at the current Lideta Division near Lideta Church. The court has been operating in the same building since the time of Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime.
The bench was moved to the new location due to the deterioration of the current building, according to Muluken Teshale, a judge and court manager at the Lideta Federal High Court.
“The building reached a level that can’t be renovated,” said Muluken.
Two years ago, the current premises of the court was renovated. In the process, the contractors recommended that the renovation be done only on the criminal bench and suggested that the building in which the civil bench resides be demolished.
“For the past two years, we were challenged with water leakage through the roofs,” said Muluken, “and the rain was damaging files.”
The other reason mentioned for the relocation is the increase of staff judges.
“We were also challenged in getting offices for the new judges,” he said.
Out of 123 judges appointed last July, 49 were assigned to the four federal high courts in Addis Abeba including Akaki, Bole, Arada and Lideta high courts.
For the past six months, a committee formed to search for rental buildings has been in the process of choosing a facility to relocate the civil bench. The committee has been working with the Ministry of Finance and Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service.
The committee had selected a couple of buildings deemed suitable for the court and requested the owners of the buildings to submit their rental fees. Glorious made the lowest offer of 280 Br per square meter per month.
While the court was in recess, the administration of the court moved documents and office furniture to the new facility.
Though the Court has settled the issue temporarily by moving to a new building, it is considering the construction of a new building as a sustainable solution. For the new building, the court has allocated 50 million Br, to initiate planning of the project.
“We are awaiting approval from the city administration to get land,” said Muluken.
Previously, Lideta High Court had secured a 40,000sqm plot of land located close to the Office of the Prime Minister, National Jubilee Palace and the parliament. However, the plot was later awarded to the Supreme Court, which had filed a request with former Mayor Diriba Kuma to take the plot.
Last year, Lideta Federal High Court tried a total of 23,234 cases,13,618 of which were new suits. Out of the total cases, 13,662 of them were closed and the remaining are pending for this year.
The High Court of Arada division is going to move to Lideta Court as of this week, due to higher rental fees at its former location, according to Muluken.
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