Approaches to rural land dispute resolution mechanisms may vary across the countries and different countries employ different approaches/modalities to resolve disputes in rural land. The approaches employed could be formal, informal or mixed one. This article has examined the approaches employed to rural land disputes in the rural land legislations of Ethiopia by taking comparative analysis of the four biggest regional states, namely, Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR and Tigray. What makes most of the regional states similar in relation to rural land dispute resolution mechanism is that, most of the regional states rural land legislations send land disputes to informal dispute resolution organs before disputes come to regular courts. In line to this, arbitration council in Amhara region and conflict mediators or elders’ councils in Oromia and SNNPR state are mandated to look into rural land disputes before disputes are taken to Woreda courts. Hence, these organs can assume a fist instance jurisdiction and woreda courts can take the decision of these organs in the form of appeal. It is only Tigray regional state that has established ‘Rural Land Adjudication Committee’ by a separate proclamation that disposes rural land disputes as a first instance jurisdiction. The proclamation has also specified each and every procedure that the committee should have to follow while performing their duties imposed by the proclamation.
Dispute resolution, Ethiopia , institutions, land, land dispute.