Terefe’s PhD examines constitutional approaches toward diversity and complexities associated with identity politics and its impact on constitutional design. It aims to understand constitutional arrangements and practices that foster or hinder political stability in countries with sharp ethnic, religious, or linguistic differences. The thesis uses a comparative approach, looking into the constitutional designs and practices of several countries that use their constitution to handle diversity.

Terefe holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws, Juris Doctor and Masters of Laws in American and International Law. His desire to understand the major legal systems of the world led him to leave his prestigious career as a federal judge in Ethiopia to study American law from an Asian perspective in South Korea.

Before commencing his postgraduate study, he worked as a federal public prosecutor with the Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia, specialising in sexual abuse, crimes against children and domestic violence offences. During this period, he prosecuted hundreds of cases. He led police investigations and independently litigated cases at the trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court. Then Terefe was appointed as one of the youngest federal judges at the federal first instance (trial court) in Addis Ababa by the Federal Parliament at the nomination of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. His docket as a judge focused mainly on criminal and family law matters during that time.

Terefe has also taught Australian constitutional law for undergraduate students and provided lectures as an invited lecturer for graduate students at the University of Queensland, School of Law and jurisprudence and legal theory in Ethiopia. In addition to constitutional law, Terefe’s research and teaching interests lie in comparative constitutional law, Australian constitutional law, the law of evidence, family law, civil and common law legal systems, public law, jurisprudence, democracy and identity politics, law and politics, and human rights.

HDR project Title: Constitutional Approach to Diversity: Comparative Analysis

Supervisor: Professor Nicholas Aroney and Dr Caitlin Goss

Scholarship: University of Queensland Research Scholarship (UQRS)