Constitutional Conference Chaired by the Afghan Second Vice President Danesh

Representatives of the Afghan Supreme Court and the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution discuss their distinctive competencies

Between 13–17 June 2016, a conference on constitutional jurisdiction in Afghanistan was held at the Max Planck Foundation. The conference dealt with the demarcation between the Supreme Court mandate, which examines the constitutionality of laws and other legislation, and the Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, which considers itself authorised to interpret the Constitution. An agreement was able to be reached via the prudent management of the Second Vice President, Dr. Sarwar Danesh, and the willingness of Yousuf Halim, President of the Supreme Court, and Dr. Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai, Chairmain of the Commission, to compromise. In further discussions, the representatives of the Afghan State unanimously agreed that through a change in the Afghan Constitution, a constitutional court should be established.

The conference also included a visit to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. Judge Dr. Ulrich Maidowski granted Afghan guests insight into his work. Additionally, he took part in the conference in Heidelberg and brought valuable expertise to the discussion.

The agreement reached in Heidelberg represents a milestone in the clarification of responsibilities of both Afghan institutions – a process that has lasted since 2009. The delimitation of mandates and forms of institutional cooperation should be established in writing in further talks in Kabul.