Rule of Law and Development in Ethiopia : Now and Twenty Years from Now

"According to democratic thinking, the basis for the relationship that exists between peoples and governments is the social contract that the two parties [freely] enter into. For, after all, the existence of societies and the individuals who constitute and found those societies precedes that of the Law and governments. Although laws are promulgated to ensure respect for and protection of rights, the rights that form the basis of those laws have always belonged to the people by their very nature. What laws can do, therefore, is simply accord official recognition to those rights and provide social guarantee for the respect and protection due to those rights. Denial of freedom, violation of rights, political oppression and economic exploitation all ensue in situations where governments, groups or individuals refuse, in various ways, to accept this principle."