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The Afghan Constitutional Analysis and Dialogues

Founder(s): USIP & Embassy of Finland
Status: Completed
The Afghan Constitutional Analysis and Dialogues Project seeks to disseminate research and promote dialogue on how the Afghan Constitution has fared during its first decade. The project will examine the status and evolution of constitutional and legal debates ten years after the adoption of the Afghan Constitution and twelve years after the Bonn process.  The research will review the legal and political history surrounding the development of the 2004 Constitution, and provide analysis on key statutory documents.  As part of the project AREU will commission a series of papers examining key themes of the Constitution including separation of powers, elections law, and fundamental rights.  Each paper will examine actual constitutional crisis that took place over the past ten years, and analyze the underlying legal and political issues.  Following each paper AREU will host round table discussions with relevant stakeholders.
As part of the series, AREU will present papers on the following topics:
• Overall commentary on the state of the Afghan Constitution, authored by the world renowned constitutional expert Dr. Hashim Kamali.
• State of electoral dispute resolution, with a focus on the Special Election Tribunal of 2010 authored by Ghizaal Haress, Professor of Constitutional Law, American University of Afghanistan.
• State of separation of powers, authored by Deputy Chair and Commissioner Farid Hamidi, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission


Publications from this research project:

An Overview of Citizens’ Fundamental Rights: Challenges and Opportunities

Despite a range of inconsistencies and linguistic inadequacies, the 2004 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRoA) is a major step forward in establishing the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. This constitutional law codifies such fundamental rights of Read More

Separation of Powers under the Afghan Constitution: A Case Study

The separation of power under the Afghan Constitution suffers from flaws, both on paper and in practice. Power is firmly tilted in favor of the executive, at the expense of the judiciary and the legislature. The no-confidence vote against the Read More

Separation of Powers in Afghanistan: Theory and Practice

or both historical and practical reasons the drafters of the 2004 constitution provided for a strong Executive Branch. Not only was power centralised at the centre but the executive was also granted extensive powers to keep the whole of government Read More

Evolution of Fundamental Rights in Afghanistan: 1924-2004

Among Afghanistan’s six constitutions, the 1931, 1964 and 2004 constitutions are important landmarks for the evolution of fundamental rights in the country. The discourse surrounding the drafting processes of the 1931 and 1964 constitutions did not reflect an awareness of Read More

Ten Years of the Constitution

AREU recently completed the “Afghan Constitutional Analysis and Dialogues” Project, the first major study reflecting on a decade of the 2004 Constitution. The project examined the status and evolution of constitutional and legal debates ten years after the adoption of Read More

The state of electoral dispute mechanisms in Afghanistan

In 2010 Afghanistan faced an unprecedented situation where despite having two bodies to address electoral irregularities, the executive created an extra-constitutional measure to adjudicate electoral complaints. Ambiguities in the legal framework and unexpected electoral results in Ghazni province prompted a Read More

Afghanistan’s Constitution Ten Years On: What Are the Issues?

January 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the current constitution of Afghanistan. Issues have arisen since then over textual ambiguities in the constitution as well as the locus of authority that can address and clarify them. Ambiguities are not unexpected Read More

Roundtable Discussion on “Afghanistan’s Electoral Experiences”

For Afghanistan, to have a Constitution, is itself an achievement. Afghanistan has had several Constitution’s in the past, that were never put in to effect. Previous Constitutions, including the 1964 Constitution were created by rulers, to legitimize their governments.

Adjudication Election Complaints: Afghanistan and the perils of Unconstitutionalism

The Constitution of Afghanistan guarantees the rights of its citizens to elect and be elected, and provides for the establishment of an Independent Election Commission (IEC) to administer and supervise elections in the country. However, the Constitution does not stipulate Read More