Afghanistan - Rule of Law Program

Access to Justice and Human Rights 

In 2002, we partnered with the International Resources Group, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights) to conduct a needs assessment addressing rule of law, governance and human rights in Afghanistan. In February 2002, ABA ROLI’s Asia division director traveled to Afghanistan to conduct the portion of the assessment that focused on rule of law. The assessment led to the publication of an April 2002 report: Filling the Vacuum: Prerequisites to Security in Afghanistan.

In June 2002, we partnered with the International Resources Group to help the Afghan Ministry of Justice distribute 1,000 copies of key Afghan codes—the 1964 constitution and the Bonn Agreement (translated into Dari and Pashtu). The ministry provided the documents to justice sector officials throughout the country.

Between 2002 and 2006, ABA ROLI worked with the Center for International Management Education on the Afghanistan Transitional Commercial Law Project. The project was an effort by American, European and Egyptian lawyers, working pro bono, to review and propose updates to Afghan commercial laws with the aim of helping the country attract foreign capital, establish a legal regime and integrate in the global economy. There were about 120 lawyers involved in the project, working in 22 teams, covering both commercial law-specific areas, including foreign investment, arbitration and contracts, and more general areas of law, including labor and employment, and environmental management. Each team prepared papers focusing on outdated and inappropriate areas of the law, proposed ways to update Afghan laws and participated in the drafting of new legislation. ABA ROLI reached out to ABA sections and enlisted about 100 ABA members to assist in the process. The Afghanistan Transitional Commercial Law Project led to the passage of significant new legislation.