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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Birtukan Midekssa

Interviewed October 3, 2012

Even now, you may not find, you know, too many judges or attorneys in the legal sphere in Ethiopia. But in my town, it was more so. And actually, in my career, I had the chance to deal with some very political sensitive cases. So the way I handled and the way people took it – one of the factors which has, you know, arisen to – in a way, to admire me, was that, you know, I was a woman, you know, to, you know, to stick to legal principles and handle cases with, you know, ethical and professional manner.

So people gave me such admiration, not only because I was committed to my professional principles, but because I was a woman as well. After I joined law school, you know, the more I learned about justice, civil liberties, and, you know, how, you know, legal professional – how legal institution could serve, you know, in establishing a society with tenets of justice, equality and human dignity, that is really an inspiration and, you know, it gave me a huge passion.

And I was full of excitement to join the judiciary at some point, and to give some kind of public service to my community, to the public. So immediately after I graduated I applied to join the federal court, and initially I was hired as an assistant for a judge, or you might consider it as a clerk, and I served – I worked in that position for two years or so, then immediately we got recruited and, you know, the parliament approved the assignment of some of those fresh graduates from the law school to be a judge in the first instance court. So that was really, you know, a moment of excitement and, you know, a moment of passion for me.