Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul reports on the first official publication of a Taliban decree in the country’s official gazette, published by the Afghanistan Ministry of Justice. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding our Correspondent’s name. The text has only been lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.
The first-ever legislative decree approved by the Taliban’s Supreme Leader has been published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of Justice. This decree, on the Regulation on Prevention of Usurpation of Lands and Restitution of Usurped Lands, can be accessed here. After the Taliban seized power in August of 2021, there was no clear clue on the structure of the Afghan legal system and processing of the legislative documents in the country. No formally-approved legislative document had been published until now.
The legal system of Afghanistan consists of Islamic, statutory and customary rules. It has developed over centuries and is currently changing in the context of the rebuilding of the Afghan state per the terms of sharia law and especially the understanding of the Taliban’s sharia law. Over the centuries no legislation legally could stand against the sharia law in Afghanistan.
Although the Taliban’s legal mechanism through which legislative documents can be processed is unclear, the former Law on Processing of Legislative Documents required the parliament and the president to approve laws and the Cabinet to approve regulation of such kind, but this regulation now seems to be approved by the Taliban’s Supreme Leader only. This will put the judicial and prosecutions authoritiesin in question with respect to their authority to approve regarding legislative documents going forward.
The new Regulation on Prevention of Usurpation of Lands and Restitution of Usurped Lands refers to Islamic jurisprudence. The Regulation is consisting of four chapters and 21 articles. It is mentioned that the Taliban’s Supreme Leader Mula Haibatullah Akhunzada has approved it.