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Afghan War News > General Info > Governance > Rule of Law

RoL Page Contents

Organizations Assisting with RoL
Implementing Partners for RoL
Information Resources for RoL
Publications about RoL
Videos about RoL
News Articles about RoL

Organizations Assisting with Rule of Law

International Development Law Organization (IDLO).

Rule of Law in Afghanistan.  United States Institute of Peace.

Afghanistan Rule of Law Project (ARoLP).  USAID.

Rule of Law Programs: Afghanistan.  U.S. Department of State.

ABA ROLI in Afghanistan.  American Bar Association (ABA).

Afghanistan Legal Education Project.  Stanford Law School. ALEP also has a number of publications about commercial, internaitonal, constitutional, and criminal laws of Afghanistan.

International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL)

United Nations Rule of Law. United Nations.

Rule of Law Component. EUPOL Afghanistan.

Implementing Partners for Rule of Law

Rule of Law Stabilization Program.

Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc.  Rule of Law Projects.

Management Systems International (MSI).  Restoring Afghanistan's Informal Justice System.

GTZ.  Promoting the Rule of Law in Afghanistan.

Information Resources on Rule of Law

The Judicial Branch.  by Ronna - The Guiding Light

International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL).

Afghanistan: The Rule of Law.  Parliment of Canada.

Legacies of Conflict: Justice, Reconciliation and Ways Forward.  Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).

Justice and Rule of Law Branch.  Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), U.S. Army.

Rule of Law Component. EUPOL Afghanistan.

Afghan Law, in General. A bibliography by The Afghanistan Analyst.

Law of Afghanistan. WikipediA. Info on legal system of Afghanistan.

Afghan Laws. By Asian Legal Information Institute.

Rule of Law News - By International Network to Promote the Rule of Law

Publications About Rule of Law in Afghanistan
(listed in chronological order by date)


Jackson, Ashley and Florian Wiegnad, Rebel Rule of Law: Taliban courts in the west and north-west of Afghanistan, Humanitarian Policy Group, May 2020.


Word Justice Project, The Rule of Law in Afghanistan, 2019. The 28-page report details the voices and experiences of more than 3,000 people in Afghanistan.


Leroux-Martin, Philippe and Vivienne O'Connor, Systems Thinking for Peacebuilding and Rule of Law, Supporting Complex Reforms in Conflict-Affected Environments, United States Insitute for Peace (USIP), October 23, 2017.


PKSOI, Impunity: Countering Illicit Power in War and Transition, edited by Michelle Hughes & Michaeal Miklaucic, Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, April 2016.

Australian National University, Strengthening the Rule of Law through the United Nations Security Council, Policy Proposals by the Australian Civil-Military Centre, April 2016. Posted on website of the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI).

Clark, Kate and Lenny Linke, Casting a Very Wide Net: Did Ghani just authorise interning Afghans without trial?, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), January 21, 2016. A recent decree by President Ghani on how to deal with terrorist crimes has introduced the prospect of detaining, without trial, Afghans suspected of planning acts of terrorism.


Kleponis, Greg, Example of Failing to Understand Local Leegal Structures and Traditions Before Attempting to Re-establish the Rule of Law and Police Reform, Small Wars Journal, December 31, 2015.

McKay, Leanne, Toward a Rule of Law Culture, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), December 21, 2015. This paper explores effective responsed to justice and security challenges.

SIGAR, Rule of Law in Afghanistan: U.S. Agencies Lack a Strategy and Cannot Fully Determine the Effectiveness of Programs Costing More Than $1 Billion, SIGAR 15-68 Audit Report, July 2015. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

DoD, Department of Defense Law of War Manual, Office of General Counsel, June 2015. 1206 pages of lawyer stuff!

World Justice Project, WJP Rule of Law Index 2015, May 2015. The WJP has ranked 102 nations in accordance with how their citizens experience rule of law. Of these nations Afghanistan is ranked 101 or second from the worst.

Reinert, Patrick and John f. Hussey. The Military's Role in Rule of Law Development, National Defense University Press, April 1, 2015. An examination of the RoL activities of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and possible future involvement in RoL.

Dion, Ena. How to Ensure Project Sustainability, International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL), March 2015.

Khan, Hamid M. Islamic Law, Customary Law and Afghan Informal Justice, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), March 6, 2015. "As Afghanistan's nascent democracy works to establish the rule of law across the country, it finds itself contending with the ways that Islamic law converges and diverges from the tribal norms that shape the settling of disputes outside Kabul. This report examines the points of tension and agreement between Islamic and customary laws, looking into both of their pasts to suggest a way forward for the Afghan state."

O'Connor, Dr. Vivienne. Defining the Rule of Law and Related Concepts, International Network to Promote the Rule of Law, February 2015.

O'Connor, Dr. Vivienne. Guide to Change and Change Management for Rule of Law Practitioners, International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL), January 2015.


Wu, Jade. "In Afghanistan, What Counts?", Small Wars Journal, November 26, 2014.
Accessed here.

English, Thomas L., "The Rule of Law in the Context of US Military Operations", Small Wars Journal, September 16, 2014. An insider's view from JTF/CJIATF 435 in Afghanistan 2010-2011. Accessed here.

Khan, Hamid Esq. INPROL Islamic Law Guide, International Nework to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL), August 2014.

SIGAR, Support for Afghanistan's Jusctic Sector: State Department Programs Need Better Management and Stronger Oversight, SIGAR 14-26 Audit Report, January 2014. Accessed here.

Sitaraman, Ganesh. "The Rule of Law and the New Counterinsurgency Field Manual", Small Wars Journal, June 12, 2014. In this short paper the author reviews the contents of RoL within the new COIN manual (2014). Accessed here.

Villarreal, Jake. "Reforming Property Laws in Post-Conflict Societies", Small Wars Journal, February 28, 2014. This paper explores land as a form of power  and analyses the conflict between religious authorities, cultural traditions, and the government over the right to control and use land. Accessed here.

Ziems, Kristine. The Rule of Law in Afghanistan: A Primer for Practitioners, Touchpoint International Development, LLC, February 2014. Funded by the Department of State. Accessed here.


SIGAR, Support for Afghanistan's Jusctic Sector: State Department Programs Need Better Management and Stronger Oversight, SIGAR 14-26 Audit Report, January 2014. Accessed here.

Matthews, Timothy, Afghanistan Law Bibliography, January 2013.


Giustozzi, Antonio, Claudio Franco and Adam Baczko, Shadow Justice: how the Taliban run their judiciary, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, 2012. Accessed here.

Reedy, Kathleen, Ph.D., "Customary Law and Its Challenges to Afghan Statehood", Military Review, September-October 2012. (USA Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS.).  Accessed here on September 16, 2012.


Grono, Nick, Rule of Law and the Justice System in Afghanistan, presentation at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, 26 April 2011. International Crisis Group. /rule of law and justice system. . .aspx

Martins, BG, "Rule of law in Afghanistan is critical to an enduring transition of governance".  Remarks by BG Martins, Harvard Law School, April 22, 2011.

Mason, W., The Rule of Law in Afghanistan: Missing in Inaction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Munir, M., "The Layha for the Mujahideeb: An Analysis of the Code of Conduct for Taliban Fighters under Islamic Law", IRCR, 93, p. 881, 2011.

Worden, Scott and Sylvana Q. Sinha, Constitutional Interpretation and the Continuing Crisis in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace, November 2011.  Accessed here February 2012.

"An Introduction to the Law of Afghanistan".  Afghanistan Legal Education Project, Stanford University.


"Afghanistan: U.S. Rule of Law and Justice Sector Assistance".  Congressional Research Service, November 9, 2010.  (PDF on

Reforming Afghanistan's Broken Judiciary.  International Crisis Group, November 17, 2010.  Accessed here Feb 1, 2012.

Hagerott, Mark R., Thomas J. Umberg, and Joseph A. Jackson,  "Establishing Rule of Law in Afghanistan".  Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 59, 4th Quarter 2010, National Defense University Press.  (PDF)

U.S. Army, "Rule of Law Handbook: A Practioner's Guide for Judge Advocates".  U.S. Army Legal Center & School, Center for Law and Military Operations, 2010. (PDF)


September 4, 2009.  "Catalysing the rule of law in Afghanistan: Challenges and opportunities".  Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney.  (PDF)

"Rule of Law Deficits as a Security Challenge".  NATO Review, May 2009.

"State-Building and Rule of Law: Lessons from Afghanistan?",  NATO Review, March 2009.  (PDF)

Ledwidge, Frank., "Justice and Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: A Missing Link", The RUSI Journal, February 2009, Volume 154 No. 1 pp. 6-9.


"Bringing Modernity and Tradition: The Rule of Law and the Search for Justice", Human Development Reports, UNDP, 2007.  (download from UNDP website here).


"Establishing the Rule of Law in Afghanistan".  United States Institute of Peace (USIP), March 2004.  (PDF)


"Rebuilding Afghanistan: A Framework for Establishing Security and the Rule of Law".  United States Institute of Peace, December 11, 2001.

Videos about Afghan Rule of Law (RoL)

December 9, 2015. "Resolute Support's Essential Function 3: Rule of Law", DVIDS. BG Mitch Chitwood, leader of EF3 at Resolute Support HQs, discusses his role in this 2-min long video.

December 27, 2012. "Afghanistan's new form of justice". BBC News Asia.

News Articles about the Rule of Law

December 14, 2020. "Taliban Courts Seek to Undermine Afghan Jidiciary", Gandhara Blog. A lack of goverment courts, judges, and prosecutors in Taliban-held terroritory forces residents to turn to Taliban courts or mosques to address legal concerns. This is compounded by corrupt Aghan government judges and prosecutors.

June 5, 2019. "How Afghanistan's Judiciary Lost Its Independence", by Sayed Ziafatullah Saeedi, The Diplomat. For reasons both structural and political, the Afghan Supreme Court has turned into a de facto ally of the president.

July 30, 2017. "USAID Signs MoU with Ministry of Justice to Improve Access to Services for Afghan People", ReliefWeb.

August, 2015. "Human rights: A key to security in Afghanistan", RS News. Resolute Support advisors from Essential Function 3 - RoL hold shura with ANDSF members from Nangarhar province to discuss human rights.

May 28, 2015. "TAAC-E adviser mentors Afghan security forces on Rule of Law". DVIDS. An Army captain from the 101st Airborne Division is the RoL advisor for the Police Advisory Team (PAT) in TAAC-East.

April 17, 2015. "A Day in the Life of a Rule of Law Advisor", by Jade Wu in International Policy Digest. A female RoL advisor in Regional Command North describes her activities in Afghanistan.

December 9, 2014. "Afghans Believe Rule of Law Vital to Security". Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

December 4, 2014. "How Fair is Traditional Justice in Afghanistan?" Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

December 3, 2014. "Can donations buy justice in Afghanistan?" Al Jazeera.

September 29, 2014. "CJIATF 435 holds inactivation ceremony". ISAF News. The Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 held its inactivation ceremony at Camp Sabalu Harrison at Bagram Airfield signifying the end of its four-year mission training, advising and assisting Afghanistan develop rule of law functions.

September 17, 2014. "Afghan women attend first Rule of Law training". ISAF News.

March 11, 2014. "Crosswhite plays key role in Afghanistan". Statesville Record & Landmark. A judicial advisor talks about his time advising courts in Afghanistan.

January 2, 2014. "U.S. (In)justice in Afghanistan". Foreign Policy. Morwari Zafar writes an article comparing the American and Afghanistan system of justice. She points out that there is a wide disparity between the formal U.S. system and the informal, traditional system in Afghanistan (especially in the rural tribal areas of the south).

August 10, 2013. "Advisors help ANA staff judge advocate become fully independent". DVIDS. Each ANA corps has a staff judge advocate office. For the last couple of years this office has had advisors from the U.S. assisting them. One such advisor is Capt. Pamela Ball (U.S. Navy) who has been assigned to FOB Gamberi as an advisor to the 201st Corp JAG office.

July 24, 2013. "IG: Problems in US Justice program in Afghanistan". A contract award lacks provisions to allow oversight on $50 million contract.

June 9, 2013. "Uruzgan rule of law". DVIDS. An reservist provides RoL advice to Combined Team Uruzgan.

June 6, 2013. "Evidence collection training supports Afghan legal system". DVIDS. U.S. advisors at Patrol Base Pul-e Alam advise ANCOP.

May 26, 2013. "What's an American lawyer doing in Afghanistan?" The Christian Science Monitor. Kimberley Motley is litigating on behalf of Afghans.

May 17, 2013. "Assistant U.S. Attorney takes command of coalition to support Afghan courts". The Gazette. BG Patrick Reinert heads to Afghanistan.

May 17, 2013. "Our Goal for a Secure Afghanistan". A RoL attorney provides insight into his job in Afghanistan.

April 10, 2013. "NDS hosts evidence based opns seminar in Paktika". RC East.

January 19, 2013. "Afghan man learns about American law through program at Wake Forest". Winston-Salem Journal.

October 29, 2012. "Keeping It Legal with the Afghan National Army Legal School".

July 2012. "EUPOL assists the Afghan Border Police to build a "Rule of Law" police service". EUPOL Afghanistan.

May 16, 2012. "U.S.-Afghan Pact and Strengthening Rule of Law in Afghanistan". The Asia Foundation. Interview with Professor Erik Jensen.

April 2, 2012.  "The Jirga in modern day Afghanistan".  Open Democracy.

March 22, 2012.  "ROLFSOs: One Individual Augmentation, Five Different Experiences".  US Navy JAG Corps Blog.

March 12, 2012.  "U.S. Government Provides Funding for Continuation of Key Rule of Law and Counternarcotics Programs in Afghanistan".  Embassy of the United States.

March 7, 2012.  "Leery of courts, Afghans seek Taliban justice", Marine Corps Times. Afghans prefer Taliban justice over Afghan government courts.

March 7, 2012.  "Rule of Law - Afghanistan".  Random Notes  . . . from Afghanistan Blog.  A blogger provides a comprehensive post on ROL with references.

January 30, 2012.  "King Karzai".  By Jed Ober, The AFPAK Channel, Foreign Policy Magazine. The article describes how the current Afghan constitution keeps Karzai in power.

January 24, 2012.  "Afghanistan: Little Progress on Rights".  Human Rights Watch.

January 2012.  "When Love Meets Tradition".  USAID Frontlines. (Rule of Law Stabilization Program -Formal Component).

December 13, 2011.  "Formal and Informal Justice Sectors Representatives Commemorate International Human Rights Day".  USAID.

November 28, 2011.  "Courthouse brings rule of law to Paktika".  DVIDS.

November 21, 2011.  "New Leadership of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan".  US Dept of State.

November 15, 2011.  "The law and politics behind Afghanistan's traditional Loya Jirga".  By Scott Worden, The AFPAK Channel, Foreign Policy.

November 9, 2011.  "Law students perform in Jalalabad court".  DVIDS.

October 27, 2011.  "The fine line between culture and law in Afghanistan".  The AFPAK Channel, Foreign Policy.

October 3, 2011.  "Rebrander in Chief".  Article about BG Mark Martins.  The Weekly Standard.

September 22, 2011.  "Afghan Law Students Demonstrate Their Legal Aptitude".  USAID.

September 29, 2011.  "Afghan officials open Rule of Law Center near Zharay to address legal needs in district".  The Mountaineer Online.

September 19, 2011.  "Change of Command at ROLFF-A".  LAWFARE.

September 8, 2011.  "Germany promotes the rule of law in Afghanistan".  Die Bundesregierung.

September 4, 2011.  "Bayonet Soldiers Aid Rule of Law in Northern Afghanistan".  Task Force Bayonet.

August 10, 2011.  "Karzai blinks in Afghanistan election crisis".  The AFPAK Channel.

August 4, 2011.  "Booklets Bridge Justice Systems".  USAID.

July 6, 2011.  "NATO Stands Up Rule of Law Field Support Mission in Afghanistan".  LAWFARE.

June 9, 2011.  "ROLFF-A Gets a Boost from NATO".  LAWFARE.

June 7, 2011.  "USIP's Afghan Rule of Law at Work: Strengthening Long-Term Security".  United States Institute of Peace.

May 31, 2011.  "Legal Education in Afghanistan".  Stanford Lawyer.

April 28, 2011.  "Rule of Law and the Justice System in Afghanistan".  Nick Grono, International Crisis Group.

April 21, 2011.  "Rule of Law in Iraq and Afghanistan?".  Harvard National Security Journal.

April 8, 2011.  "Extending the rule of law in Afghanistan".  UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

April 7, 2011.  "Developing Police and Rule of Law in Afghanistan".  International Institute for Strategic Studies.

March 31, 2011.  "Afghan governors discuss rule of law priorities".  US Central Command.

March 9, 2011.  "Shaping rule of law".  The Stanford Daily.

February 10, 2011.  "Commander Says Rule of Law Needed to Stop Taliban".  American Forces Press Service.

November 22, 2010.  "Seeking the Rule of Law in Afghanistan".  Secrecy News.

November 22, 2010.  "Massive U.S. Spending on 'Rule of Law' in Afghanistan Not Paying Off".  Huffington Post.

November 17, 2010.  "Building the Rule of Law in Practice".  Mark Martins, LAWFARE.

November 16, 2010.  "Building the Rule of Law in Theory".  Mark Martins, LAWFARE.

April 20, 2010.  "Challenges, cautious optimism for Afghanistan's rule of law initiatives".  Harvard Law Record.

April 9, 2010.  "Rule of Law Needed in Afghanistan".  Oliver North, Human Events.

January 13, 2010.  "Coordinating Director of Rule of Law and Law Enforcement".  Embassy of the United States - Afghanistan.

October 20, 2009.  "The rule of law prevails".  The AFPAK Channel.

May 5, 2009.  "First Dari and Pashto Legal Glossary Published".  USAID.

April 16, 2009.  "Iraq, Afghanistan struggle to secure rule of law".  Harvard Law Record.

June 20, 2008.  "Ambassador Jawad Speaks on Rule of Law Initiatives".  The Embassy of Afghanistan.

June 10, 2008.  "Strengthening the Rule of Law in Afghanistan".  Center for American Progress.

November 6, 2007.  "The Forgotten Front".  Center for American Progress.

August 13, 2003.  "Afghanistan: Re-establishing the rule of law".  Amnesty International.



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