Berihun Gebeye is a Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law at the Central European University. His stay at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies is supported by the Open Society Foundation as a Civil Society Scholar. His doctoral research is about how the interaction between liberal constitutional ideals and indigenous African legal and political systems influence the nature and practice of constitutional government in Africa. By employing interdisciplinary approaches and materials, he explicates how indigenous legal and political systems have been transformed by the creation of territorial states, and how they, in turn, transformed the nature of these states. Drawing from religious studies and anthropology, his research uses what he calls “legal syncretism” as a conceptual framework to understand and explain the nature of the post-colonial African state, its organization, structure, and notion of rights by taking Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa as comparative case studies.
Berihun received his LL.B. in Laws from Haramaya University, LL.M. in Human Rights Law from Addis Ababa University, and LL.M. in Human Rights with International Justice Specialization from Central European University. He was also a Lecturer at the School of Law of Jigjiga University. His publications appeared in the Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial law, Human Rights Review, Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, Queen Mary Law Journal, Journal of Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, Oromia Law Journal, and Women in Society. His research interest is in the field of comparative constitutional law, human rights, legal theory, law and Society, and law and development.