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State and Non-State Justice Systems in Afghanistan: the Need for Synergy

By: Ali Wardak, Journal of International Law

The long Afghan conflict has resulted in an extensive destruction of Afghanistan‘s state justice institutions that existed prior to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (―USSR‖) invasion of the country in December 1979. The destruction has not only included extensive damage to buildings, office furniture, official records, legal resources, and essential office equipment, but also the death, imprisonment, and migration of hundreds of professional justice officials, including qualified judges, prosecutors, police officers, and prison wardens.

This Article argues that a post-Taliban justice system, built on a meaningful synergy between state and non-state justice institutions, has a very strong potential for providing accessible, effective, cost-effective and transparent justice to all sections of the Afghan society. The “hybrid model” recommends the creation of meaningful institutional links between state and non-state justice systems in Afghanistan. The Article concludes that a meaningful synergy between state and non-state justice institutions has a strong potential to provide justice to all sections of Afghan society and to become a channel of communication among ordinary citizens and their state in post-Taliban Afghanistan.