The name of Emperor Haile Selassie I will always be revered in Ethiopian history. This is particularly so in connection with the legal and constitutional changes which he has instituted in the millenial history of the country. In this record July 16,1931 is particularly significant. On that memorable day, of his own voliton and against strong conservative opposition He granted to the Ethiopian people the first written constitution ever.
In the succeeding years, His Majesty the Emperor built on the basis of the 1931 Constitution a system of law and a legal and judicial system that has transformed modern Ethiopia. On the Silver Jubilee of his Coronation, again of his own free will, he granted to Ethiopia a Revised Constitution which coonsolidated the gains over the previous twenty-four years and gave the people greater participation in their government through making the Lower House of Parliament a popularly elected body. Subsequently, His Imperial Majesty had the laws of the county codified, thus strengthening further the legal and judicial system of Ethiopia.
DECREE GRANTING CONSTITUTION
"..... We consider that it is Our duty to decree and enforce all the measures necessary for the maintenance of Our Government, for increasing the well being of Our people and aiding their progress on the road to happiness and the civilization attained by independent and cultured nations. We consider that the way to achieve this aim lies in the elaboration of the present Constitution, which will facilitate Government action, whilst assuring the happiness of the people who will, in addition, derive from it an honour whicch will not fail to be reflected oon future generations and will permit the Empire to enjoy the inestimable benefits of peace."
PROMULGATING THE REVISED CONSTITUTION
"Nearly a quarter of a century ago We were pleased to grant to Our beloved people the first Constitution in the history of this three-thousand-years-old Empire. Today, on the Jubilee Anniversary of Our Coronation, We are pleased to proclaim a Revised Constitution consolidating the progress achieved, and preparing the way for future advances."
It was also in his divine wisdom and his respect for order in the society that he also ordained the Constitution of the Ethiopian World Federation when he granted our organization in 1937. In his wisdom also, he ensured that all black peoples of the world would join in celebrating Ethiopia and its Constitution by making July 16 the Convention Day of the Ethiopian World Federation.
Quoting Article 1V.
Section 1. Conventions: There shall be an annual Convention of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated. It shall be called on the sixteenth day of July. The Convention shall select the place of meeting of the succeeding Convention.
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