The series of annual Afghan Legal Studies Conferences (ALSC) began in 2014. While the first events were held in Kabul, the ILSAF decided to re-launch the series in digital format in 2022.
The aim of the ALSC series is to provide a forum for scholars from Afghanistan and abroad where they can present and discuss fresh research results. By this, ILSAF would like to strengthen the exchange among Afghan professors, Ph.D. students and independent researchers, and connect them with the international scientific community. This aim is ever more important since large numbers of Afghan academics left the country after the regime change in 2021. Despite the difficult circumstances, ILSAF wants to contribute to the development of an independent Afghan community of researchers.
Thematic areas that have been covered at ALSC conferences include
public, private, criminal, and international law; Islamic law; non-state
justice and restorative justice; rule of law; and access to justice.
ILSAF will also ensure that presentations from the areas of (legal)
history, sociology, anthropology, theory, and philosophy find their
place in future events.
On 8-9 July 2022, ILSAF held its first ALSC with the main theme being “Continuity and Change: Legal Ramifications of the Taliban’s Political Takeover”.
The Taliban took over power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021 following the withdrawal of the US troops and the flight of former President Ashraf Ghani. Having ruled the country for nearly a year now, they have not yet obtained international recognition as legitimate government.
Meanwhile, important and difficult questions have arisen regarding the national and international legal ramifications of the change of the political regime. These include, among others, the questions of which constitution is in force and whether the Taliban could adopt a new one; how they could form a legitimate national government; how human rights and women rights are affected; what laws are applicable before Afghan courts, and how cases are actually decided; and who may represent the country on the international level. The list could be easily extended.
Given the significant legal implications of the change of regime, the 2022 annual international conference of the Institute for Law and Society in Afghanistan (ILSAF) aims to open the floor for legal debate surrounding these questions. The organizers decided to focus on three matters: government legitimacy; state sovereignty; and the rule of law, where we will take a closer look at the criminal justice system and at the reality of women’s rights.