Is there a Period of Limitation for a Contract of Donation under Ethiopian law?

There is no stipulated provision as regards to the period of limitation in cases of donation contracts. But this doesn’t mean just because there is no provision, that the time for claiming execution of donation contract is unlimited.

Even though, there is no clear stipulation to this effect, it can be construed that since donation contract, is a contract, it should be subject to the general provisions of a contract. Article 1676(1) and 1845 care best elaborate this idea.

The cassation bench has attained this in a decision it rendered file No.42691.

In this case the appellant is claiming to have been donated a house around Bole Kebele 15 from the deceased W/ro Alemitu in the form of a donation agreement. The appellant is claiming to have given this house to her brother (The respondent) due to his shortage in finances and now he is refusing to return the house to the defendant.

The lower courts after analyzing the issues at hand decided in favor of the appellant.

But the cassation bench had a different view on the matter. The respondent, though she claimed to have received a contract of donation, there was no request on the appellants part to execute the contract while the deceased was still a live.

In addition to the above, the time span between the making of the donation contract and the institution of claim has exceeded ten years, which will bar the claim on the grounds of period of limitation.

Having said this, the cassation bench rejected the claims based on the contract of donation on the ground that it is barred by period of limitation.

So, what one can understand from this is that though no period limitation is set for the contract of donation, the general contract provisions relating to period of limitation will apply.

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Any pertinent information on the subject can be available from an Ethiopian Lawyer, Ethiopian Family Lawyer, Ethiopian Succession Lawyer, Ethiopian Inheritance Lawyer and Ethiopian Contract Lawyer.