Do you know the existence of a concept of absence of a person according to Ethiopian law? So if you are missing for more than two years and no one really knows your whereabouts there is a possibility that you may be declared absent by Ethiopian courts. Below you will find out how it works.

According to The Ethiopian Civil Code Declaration of absence takes place where an interested party applies to the court to declare absence, when a person has disappeared and has given no news of him for two years. From this we can infer that if a person has disappeared from his principal residence and if he has not given any news of himself for two years any interested party can apply to declare him absent.

Once the interested party applies for declaration of absence the court can order announcements to this effect to be made in the manner prescribed by the court in the place of the last principal residence of the absenteein any other place where the court considers such announcement to be useful. Usually these are done by the newspapers that have got a wide coverage throughout Ethiopia, like Ethiopian Herald and Addis Zemen. It may also be announced by Radio or TV announcements. and

The Ethiopian law states that courts should be careful when giving judgment on declaration of absence. The court in making declaration of absence uses the yardstick that the death of the absentee appears to be probable. So in making this decision the court must take into account all the circumstance of the cases. Above all, the court should take into consideration the fact whether the person whose absence is invoked has or has not appointed an attorney to administer his property and the causes which may have impeded the receipt of his news.  In this regard Courts have the right to postpone judgment for a year or decided that the judgment declaring the absence will only have effect a year after its delivery.

But where the absentee has disappeared for five years prior to the date of application for declaration of absence and the absentee has not been heard from following the publicity (announcement) prescribed by the court, the court has a duty to declare the absence a year after the date of such application.

However court to which an application for declaration of absence is made may deliver a judgment declaring the death of the absentee when the evidence collected by the court establish in a manner which may be considered certain that the absentee is dead.

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