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NCJ Number: 201219 Find in a Library
Title: Justice and Law Enforcement in Afghanistan Under the Taliban: How Much is Likely to Change?
Journal: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:162-167
Author(s): Fida Mohammad; Paul Conway
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 6
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the justice and law enforcement systems that prevailed in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
Abstract: This overview relied heavily on personal communications with Afghan intellectuals and Pakistani intelligence officials that had close relationships with Taliban personnel. After collecting data from one source, the same data were presented to other sources in order to confirm that the testimony was valid and reliable. The traditional, decentralized political system provided a relatively safe place for most of Afghanistan’s inhabitants. Given the reality of numerous warlords and the ubiquity of weapons, there was a significant degree of order and tranquility. One explanation may be the strong, informal social controls with retributive elements in every tribal society. Another explanation may be the system of Jirga. Many disputes from civil to criminal cases were resolved by the Jirga system, which is a cross between arbitration and mediation. The other system to resolve problems involved Shariat, which was by way of religious law. There was a high degree of general chaos and anarchy throughout the country after the demise of the Communist regime. The Taliban restored law and order by the 1990's with their own interpretation of Islamic justice that was ruthlessly enforced. Taliban leaders believed that the primary function of law was to protect and promote Islamic ideals and values. The Taliban introduced the Ministry of Virtue, which was essentially a religious police designed to enforce Islamic morality. Policing under the Taliban was enmeshed in a web of personal loyalties and tribal politics. Police and military personnel were conscripted soldiers. In the post-Taliban era, the United States-backed Karzai administration is trying to create a hybrid system based upon Shariat and Western laws. It is believed that Jirga will be a central concept in any criminal justice system. So long as warlords are in control of significant regions in Afghanistan, there is no prospect for an effective legal system. 5 figures, 1 note, 1 references
Main Term(s): Afghanistan; Foreign criminal justice systems
Index Term(s): Court structure; Court system; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Tribal community relations; Tribal court system; Tribal history
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