Our guest researchersPublished on 10.10.2023

Presentation of the guest researchers of the IFF: Gosaye Ayele Birhanu

What is your research about?

Recent federations, such as South Africa, grant full-fledged constitutional recognition to local governments as the third tier of government. Similarly, in established federations, there is a growing trend towards granting more autonomy to local governments. The South African Constitution outlines the structure, organization, and jurisdiction of local governments. However, it also grants power to both the national and provincial governments to intervene in local governments. While local governments are generally under the jurisdiction of cantonal governments, the Swiss Constitution also provides a certain degree of recognition to local government. This research aims to conduct a comparative examination of when and under what circumstances 'higher' levels of government intervene in the autonomy of local governments. Additionally, it seeks to explore the procedural and institutional safeguards put in place to protect the autonomy of local governments in the federations of South Africa and Switzerland.

What is your background?

I hold an LL.M in Comparative Constitutional Law from the Central European University in Budapest. My areas of interest include federalism, local government, constitutional law and human rights. Currently, I am doing my PhD (LL.D). at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

For the last twenty years, I have been a lecturer at various universities in Ethiopia including Jimma University, Hawassa University and the Ethiopian Civil Service University.