Constitutional Conflicts in Afghanistan III
Afghanistan, since the adoption of its current Constitution in 2004, has strived towards greater political stability and implementation of the rule of law. In recent times, this constitutional text has become the topic of considerable debate, particularly following the presidential election that resulted in the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) in 2014. Substantial changes have been proposed by the NUG to restructure the political system envisaged in the Constitution, and also Afghanistan’s electoral laws. It is in this context that the Max Planck Foundation is implementing its project on constitutional conflicts.
The Max Planck team has been conducting seminars and conferences on the Afghan Constitution and examining its contents from an international and comparative legal perspective since 2004. In contrast to previous years, the focus today is no longer limited to the topics of constitutional interpretation and adjudication. For this reason, the project currently consists of the following four components:
1) Capacity Building for Staff of State Institutions
This component’s goal is to strengthen the competence of relevant institutions in the field of constitutional law, thereby fostering the stability of the Afghan constitutional order. The capacities of officials working in these institutions need to be built up in order to enable them to master daily tasks competently, and in accordance with the requirements of national and international law. To achieve this, educational workshops are offered in Kabul, addressing various issues of constitutional law and providing solutions to current problems in the field. In addition, knowledge on the theoretical foundations of constitutional law is also imparted.
2) Advising Decision-Makers
The Max Planck Foundation offers advice to various institutions, realised by its own constitutional researchers and often in collaboration with renowned external experts. Through its in-house expertise in the fields of Afghan law, comparative law and public international law, the Foundation is able to offer assistance with the development of resolution methods.
3) Strengthening the Management of the Human Rights Commission (AIHRC)
The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is a state institution charged with fostering and upholding human rights enshrined in the Afghan Constitution, notably the only institution with this particular mandate within the country. In several seminars, high-ranking staff of the Commission will be trained on aspects of constitutional and human rights law, as well as strategies to improve judicial access to enforce these rights at the individual level.
4) Network of Afghan Constitutionalists
This component aims at educating further members of the Afghan civil society – NGO representatives, journalists, lawyers, union leaders, human rights activists etc. – and at the same time jurists from state institutions working in the field of constitutional law, in order to assure the establishment of a successful network in this field. In addition, the Max Planck Foundation is translating key materials of German constitutional law, such as the “Grundgesetz” (the German Constitution), the Federal Constitutional Court Act, decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court and relevant journal articles on the subject into Dari as a compilation of foundational materials for the training courses, and as examples of good practice for Afghan institutions. Overall, this project shall foster the comprehension of constitutional law within Afghan state institutions and strengthen civil society, so that Afghans will ultimately be able to find and develop constructive solutions for constitutional problems themselves.
1 January 2016-31 December 2017