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Afghanistan Law Bibliography

Compiled by Tim Mathews

January 2011
Published by: The Afghanistan Analyst

Bibliography Introduction


This bibliography is intended to be an up-to-date resource for legal study and research pertaining
to modern Afghanistan (1747 and later). Many sources are only available through legal search
engines, such as Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis Law, or through academic databases such as JSTOR,
ProQuest, EBSCO, or HeinOnline. Hyperlinks are provided to sources that are freely available.


This bibliography is divided into eight sections.

1. References. Guides other than academic or research articles that provide broad
background information
2. Afghan Law, In General. Broad topics related to Afghan legal systems and legal history
3. Customary Law. Afghan customary law and history
4. Islamic Law, In General. Articles focusing upon Sunni jurisprudence in both international
and domestic areas of law
5. Islamic Law in Afghanistan. Articles focusing on Islamic law as applied in Afghanistan,
to include functioning of courts of Sharia
6. State Codes and State Legal System. Functioning of state courts, administrative
processes, and discussion of state codes
7. Constitution: Drafting and Law. Articles discussing Afghan constitutional law,
constitutional drafting, and related issues
8. Rule of Law and Policy Issues. Post-conflict reconstruction, transitional justice, human
rights, and security issues relevant to the legal system

Recommendations for improvements and additions

Recommendations are welcome regarding the organization of this bibliography and inclusion (or
exclusion) of any sources. I also welcome hyperlinks that I have inadvertently omitted to sources
listed herein which are freely and lawfully available online. Send suggestions to:

Tim Mathews
J.D. Candidate (2011)
University of Maine School of Law

Conor Foley, A Guide to Property Law in Afghanistan (First Edition), Norwegian Refugee
Council (Sep., 2005). Download PDF

Robert Hager, The Afghan legal system—Historical origins of the state legal order and its
competitors, 2 International Contract Manual § 46:3 (2009).

International Legal Foundation, The Customary Laws of Afghanistan, September 2004.

Download PDF

Stanford Law School, An Introduction to the Law of Afghanistan (Second Edition), Afghanistan
Legal Education Project (2009). Download PDF

Afghan Law: General

Nafay Choudhury, Reconceptualizing Legal Pluralism in Afghanistan, 2010 WINDSOR REV.

LEGAL & SOC. ISSUES 21 (2010).

Bruce Etling, Legal Authorities in the Afghan Legal System (1964-1979), Harv. L. School:
Islamic Legal Studies Program (2003). Download PDF

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Law in Afghanistan (E. J. Brill 1985). Preview in Google Books

Esther Meininghaus, Legal Pluralism in Afghanistan, University of Bonn, Amu Darya Series
Paper No. 8 (Dec. 2007). Download PDF

Senzil Nawid, The State, the Clergy, and British Imperial Policy in Afghanistan during the 19th
and Early 20th Centuries, 29 INT. J. MIDDLE EAST STUD. 581 (1997).

Neamat Nojumi, Dyan Mazurana, and Elizabeth Stites, Afghanistan’s Systems of Justice:
Formal, Traditional, and Customary, (Tufts University 2004). Download PDF

José Oberson, Khans and Warlords: Political Alignment, Leadership and the State in Pashtun
Society, Institute for Ethnology, University of Berne (2002). Download PDF

Astri Suhrke and Kaja Borchgrevink, Negotiating justice sector reform in Afghanistan, Crime,
Law & Social Change (2008). Download PDF

M. G. Weinbaum, Legal Elites in Afghan Society, 12 INT. J. MIDDLE EAST STUD. 39 (1980).
Download PDF
Customary Law

Cynthia Alkon, The Increased Use of “Reconciliation” in Criminal Cases in Central Asia: A
Sign of Restorative Justice or Cause for Concern?, 8 PEPP. DISP. RESOL. L.J. 41 (2007).

Thomas Barfield, Afghan Customary Law and Its Relationship to Formal Justice Institutions,
United States Institute of Peace (2003). Download PDF

Thomas J. Barfield, Culture and Custom in Nation-Building: Law in Afghanistan, 60 ME. L.

REV. 347 (2008).

Thomas J. Barfield, Informal Dispute Resolution and the Formal Legal System in Contemporary
Northern Afghanistan (Draft Report), United States Institute of Peace (April 21, 2006).
Download PDF

Thomas J. Barfield, On Local Justice and Culture in Post-Taliban Afghanistan, 17 CONN. J.

INT’L L. 439 (2002).

Thomas J. Barfield, Neamat Nojumi, J. Alexander Thier, The Clash of Two Goods: State and
Non-State Dispute Resolution in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace (2006). Download

Benjamin Buchholz, Thoughts on Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga: A Myth?, ASIEN 104 (Juli 2007), S.
23-33. Download PDF

Noah Coburn and John Dempsey, Informal Dispute Resolution in Afghanistan, United States
Institute of Peace (2010). Download PDF

Gregory Day, Guns, Goats and Justice in Afghanistan, 67-OCT Or. St. B. Bull. 19 (2007).

John Dempsey and Noah Coburn, Traditional Dispute Resolution and Stability in Afghanistan,
United States Institute of Peace (2010). Download PDF

M. Jamil Hanifi, Editing the Past: Colonial Production of Hegemony Through the “Loya Jerga”
in Afghanistan, 37 IRANIAN STUD. 295 (2004). Download PDF

Palwasha Kakar, Tribal Law of Pashtunwali and Women’s Legislative Authority, Harv. L.
School: Islamic Legal Studies Program (2003). Download PDF

Susanne Schmeidl and Masood Karokhail, The Role of Non-State Actors in ‘Community-Based
Policing’ – An Exploration of the Arbakai (Tribal Police) in South-Eastern Afghanistan, 30

Mohammed Osman Tariq, Tribal Security System (Arbakai) in Southeast Afghanistan, Crisis
States Research Centre Occasional Paper no. 7 (2008). Download PDF
Amin Tarzi, Historical Relationship between State and Non-State Judicial Sectors in
Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace (October 2006). Download PDF

USAID, Field Study of Informal and Customary Justice in Afghanistan, Rule of Law Project
(2005). Download PDF

United States Institute of Peace, Between the Jirga and the Judge (2009). Download PDF

United States Institute of Peace, Establishing the Rule of Law in Afghanistan (2004). Download

Islamic Law, In General

Shaheen Sardar Ali, Resurrecting Siyar Through Fatwas? (Re) Constructing ‘Islamic
International Law’ in a Post-(Iraq) Invasion World, 14 J. CONFLICT & SECURITY L. 115 (2009).

Larry Catá Backer, Theocratic Constitutionalism: An Introduction to a New Global Legal

Ordering, 16 IND. J. GLOBAL LEGAL STUD. 85 (2009).

M. Cherif Bassiouni and Gamal M. Badr, The Shari’ah: Sources, Interpretation, and Rule-
Making, 1 UCLA J. ISLAMIC & NEAR E. L. 135 (2002).

M. Cherif Bassiouni, Gamal M. Badr, Saad El-Fishawy, Farooq A. Hassan, and Erik Peterson,
Contracts and Litigation in Islamic Law: The Sources of Islamic Law, 76 AM. SOC’Y INT’L L.
PROC. 55 (1982).

Mohamed Abdel Dayem, In the Path of Allah: Evolving Interpretations of Jihad and Its Modern
Challenges, 7 UCLA J. ISLAMIC & NEAR E. L. 67 (2009).

Nicholas Garces, Islam, Till Death Do You Part? Rethinking Apostasy Laws Under Islamic Law
and International Legal Obligations, 16 SW. J. INT’L L. 229 (2010).

Adham A. Hashish, Ijtihad Institutions: The Key to Islamic Democracy Bridging and Balancing
Political and Intellectual Islam, 9 RICH. J. GLOBAL L. & BUS. 61 (2010).

Walid Iqbal, Dialogue and the Practice of Law and Spiritual Values: Courts, Lawyering, and
ADR: Glimpses into the Islamic Tradition, 28 FORDHAM URB. L.J. 1035 (2001).

Liaquat Ali Khan, Jurodynamics of Islamic Law, 61 RUTGERS L. REV. 231 (2009).

Herbert J. Liebesny, Judicial Systems in the Near and Middle East: Evolutionary Development
and Islamic Revival, 37 MIDDLE EAST J. 202 (1983).
Clark B. Lombardi and Nathan J. Brown, Do Constitutions Requiring Adherence to Shari’a
Threaten Human Rights? How Egypt’s Constitutional Court Reconciles Islamic Law with the
Liberal Rule of Law, 21 AM. U. INT’L L. REV. 379 (2006).

Kathleen A. Portuan Miller, Who Says Muslim Women Don’t Have the Right to Divorce? – A
Comparison Between Anglo-American Law and Islamic Law, 22 N.Y. INT’L L. REV. 201 (2009).

Asifa Quraishi, Who Says Shari’a Demands the Stoning of Women? A Description of Islamic
Law and Constitutionalism, 1 BERK. J. MIDDLE E. & ISLAMIC L. 163 (2008).

Sadiq Reza, Islam’s Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure in Islamic Doctrine and Muslim
Practice, 40 GEO. J. INT’L L. 703 (2009).

Sadiq Reza, Torture and Islamic Law, 8 CHI. J. INT’L L. 21 (2007).

Frank Vogel, An Introduction to the Law of the Islamic World, 31 INT’L J. LEGAL INFO. 353

Frank E. Vogel, The Trial of Terrorists Under Classical Islamic Law, 43 HARV. INT'L L.J. 53

David A. Westbrook, Islamic International Law and Public International Law: Separate
Expressions of World Order, 33 VA. J. INT’L L. 819 (1993).

Islamic Law in Afghanistan

Hafizullah Emadi, The End of Taqiyya: Reaffirming the Religious Identity of Ismailis in
Shughnan, Badakhshan – Political Implications for Afghanistan, 34 MIDDLE EASTERN STUD 103

Ashraf Ghani, Disputes in a Court of Sharia, Kunar Valley, Afghanistan, 1885-1890, 15 INT. J.
MIDDLE EAST STUD. 353 (1983).

Martin Lau, Islamic Law and the Afghan Legal System, United Nations Public Administration
Network. Download PDF

Kristin Mendoza, Islam and Islamism in Afghanistan, Harvard Law School: Islamic Legal
Studies Program (2003). Download PDF

Ahmad Indrees Rahmani, The Role of Religious Institutions in Community Governance Affairs:
How are Communities Governed Beyond the District Level? (Central European University

Olivier Roy, Rivalries and Power Plays in Afghanistan: The Taliban, the Shari'a and the
Pipeline, 202 MIDDLE EAST REPORT 37 (1996).
State Law and Legal Systems

Faiz Ahmed, Judicial Reform in Afghanistan: A Case Study in the New Criminal Procedure
Code, 29 HASTINGS INT’L & COMP. L. REV. 93 (2005).

Livingston Armytage, Justice in Afghanistan: Rebuilding Judicial Competence After the

Generation of War, 67 HEIDELBERG J. OF INT’L L. 185 (2007). Download PDF

Martin Lau, Afghanistan’s Legal System and its Compatibility with International Human Rights
Standards, International Commission of Jurists (2004). Download PDF

Katherine McCullough, Out With the Old and In With the New: The Long Struggle for Judicial
Reform in Afghanistan, 19 GEO. J. LEGAL ETHICS 821 (2006).

Ramin Moschtaghi, Organisation and Jurisdiction of the Newly Established Afghan Courts –
The Compliance of the Formal System of Justice with the Bonn Agreement, 10 Max Planck
Yearbook of United Nations Law 531 (2006).

Barnett R. Rubin, Lineages of the State of Afghanistan, 28 ASIAN SURVEY 1188 (1988).

J. David Stansfield, Yasin Safar and Akram Salam, Community-State Administration of Private
Property Records in Rural Afghanistan, Terra Institute LTD. (2008). Download PDF

Constitution: Drafting and Law

Katharine Adeney, Constitutional Design and the Political Salience of “Community” Identity in
Afghanistan, 48 ASIAN SURVEY 535 (2008).

Said Amir Arjomand, Constitutional Developments in Afghanistan: A Comparative and

Historical Perspective, 53 DRAKE L. REV. 943 (2005).

Michele Brandt, Constitutional Assistance in Post-Conflict Countries: The UN Experience:

Cambodia, East Timor & Afghanistan, United Nations Development Programme (June 2005).
Download PDF

Nusrat Choudhury, Constrained Spaces for Islamic Feminism: Women’s rights and the 2004
Constitution of Afghanistan, 19 YALE J.L. & FEMINISM 155 (2007).

John Dempsey and J. Alexander Their, Resolving the Crisis over Constitutional Interpretation in
Afghanistan, (United States Institute of Peace 2009).

Justin Desautels-Stein, Bolstering Democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan: Rites and
Rights in Afghanistan: The Hazara and the 2004 Constitution, 29 FLETCHER F. WORLD AFF. 157
Andrew Finkelman, The Constitution and Its Interpretation: An Islamic Perspective on
Afghanistan’s Constitutional Development Process, 2002-2004, Al Nakhlah, Article 2 (2005).

Rainer Grote, Separation of Powers in the New Afghan Constitution, 64 HIEDELBERG J. OF INT’L
L. 897 (2004). Download PDF

Martin Lau, The Independence of Judges Under Islamic Law, International Law and the New
Afghan Constitution, 64 HEIDELBERG J. OF INT’L L. 917 (2004). Download PDF

Said Mahmoudi, The Sharia in the New Afghan Constitution: Contradiction or Compliment?, 64
HEIDELBERG J. OF INT’L L. 867 (2004). Download PDF

Asifa Quraishi, Tradition and Innovation: Interpreting the Qur’an and the Constitution:
Similarities in the Use of Text, Tradition, and Reason in Islamic and American Jurisprudence, 28
CARDOZO L. REV. 67 (2006).

Barnett R. Rubin, Crafting a Constitution of Afghanistan, 15 J. OF DEMOCRACY 5 (2004).

Michael Schoiswohl, Linking the International Legal Framework to Building the Formal
Foundations of a “State at Risk”: Constitution-Making and International Law in Post-Conflict
Afghanistan, 39 VAND. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 819 (2006).

Michael Schoiswohl, The New Afghanistan Constitution and International Law: A Love-Hate
Affair, 4 INT’L J. CONST. L. 664 (2006).

Silvia Tellenbach, Fair Trial Guarantees in Criminal Proceedings Under Islamic,Afghan

Constitutional, and International Law, 64 HEIDELBERG J. OF INT’L L. 929 (2004). Download

J. Alexander Thier, The Making of a Constitution in Afghanistan, 51 N.Y.L. SCH. L. REV. 557

Rule of Law and Policy Issues

Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Transitional Justice

Faiz Ahmed, Afghanistan’s Reconstruction, Five Years Later: Narratives of Progress,

Marginalized Realities, and the Politics of Law in a Transitional Islamic Republic, 10 GONZ. J.
INT’L L. 269 (2006-2007).

Tanya Domenica Bosi, U.N. Report: Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The United Nations
Involvement in Afghanistan, 19 N.Y.L. SCH. J. HUM. RTS. 819 (2003).
Christina Jones-Pauly, Neamat Nojumi, Balancing Relations Between Society and State: Legal
Steps Toward National Reconciliation and Reconstruction of Afghanistan, 52 AM. J. COMP. L.
825 (2004). Download PDF

Sari Kouvo, Transitional Justice in the Context of Ongoing Conflict: the Case of Afghanistan,
ICTJ Briefing, International Center for Transitional Justice (2009). Download PDF

Sarah Lister, Understanding State-Building and Local Government in Afghanistan, Crisis States
Research Centre, Working Paper no. 14 (2007). Download PDF

William Maley, Democratic Governance and Post-Conflict Transitions, 6 CHI. J. INT’L L. 683

Amin Saikal, Afghanistan’s Transition: ISAF’s stabilization role?, 27 THIRD WORLD

QUARTERLY 525 (2006).

Epaminontas E. Triantafilou, In Aid of Transitional Justice: Eroding Norms of Revenge in

Countries with Weak State Authority, 10 UCLA J. INT’L L. & FOREIGN AFF. 541 (2005).

Ali Wardak, Building a post-war justice system in Afghanistan, 41 CRIME, LAW & SOCIAL
CHANGE 319 (2004). Download PDF

Rule of Law

Patricia Gossman, The Past as Present: War Crimes, Impunity and the Rule of Law, London
School of Economics and Political Science and University of Bonn (Jun. 2003). Download PDF

Dr. Christine Noelle-Karimi, Local perceptions of state and law, Center for Development
Research (2003). Download PDF

William H. Spencer, Securing the Rule of Law in Post-Taliban Afghanistan: Establishing the
Rule of Law, 17 CONN. J. INT’L L. 445 (2002).

Human Rights

Sultan Barakat & Gareth Wardell, Exploited by whom? An alternative perspective on

humanitarian assistance to Afghan women, 23 THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY 909 (2002).

Melanie M. Brookes, Reproductive Rights in Afghanistan: Considerations of Abortion

Regulation in Light of the Afghan Reconstruction Process, 18 CONN. J. INT’L L. 595 (2003).

Mark A. Drumbl, Rights, Culture, and Crime: The Role of Rule of Law For the Women of
Afghanistan, 42 COLUM. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 349 (2004).

Mark A. Drumbl, The Taliban’s ‘Other’ Crimes, 23 THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY 1121 (2002).
Mark A. Drumbl, Victimhood in our Neighborhood: Terrorist Crime, Taliban Guilt, and the
Asymmetries of the International Legal Order, 81 N.C. L. REV. 1 (2002).

Talya Friedman, Cures to the Enigmatic Taliban Plague: Legal and Social Remedies Addressing
Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, 23 LOY. L.A. INT'L & COMP. L. REV. 81 (2001).

J. Alexander Thier, Afghanistan: Minority Rights and Autonomy in a Multi-Ethnic Failed State,
35 STAN. J. INT’L L. 351 (1999).

Shannon A. Wiley, Fighting Back Against the Taliban: The Case for Restoring Afghan Men and
Women’s Right to Self-Determination, 7 WM. & MARY J. WOMEN & L. 523 (2001).

Security Issues

Alyssa Greenspan, Are We Fighting the Right War?, 16 CARDOZO J. INT’L & COMP. L. 493

Elizabeth Peterson, Two Sides of the Same Coin: The Link Between Illicit Opium Production and
Security in Afghanistan, 25 WASH. U. J. L. & POL’Y 215 (2007).

Peter Tomsen, Untying the Afghan Knot, 25-WTR FLETCHER F. WORLD AFF. 17 (2001).
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