First technical working group conducted on a Commentary for the Administrative Procedure Law of Afghanistan

A panel of administrative law experts met in Kabul with Foundation staff joining online

On 5 November 2020, the Max Planck Foundation’s Afghanistan team together with our partner organisations, the Afghan Legal Research Development Organisation and Integrity Watch Afghanistan, hosted the first technical working group. The panel discussed the first chapter of what will eventually become a comprehensive commentary on the Administrative Procedure Law. In this first meeting, the discussion focused on creating a common vocabulary among working group members, aimed at fully understanding the most important terms of the law. Further, significant attention was given to the aim and scope of the act. Finally, the technical working group brainstormed on how to use practical cases in the commentary, as well as how to address the methodology of the work.

The technical working group consists of administrative law experts from all over Afghanistan, within all levels of government, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, the Judiciary, but also NGOs, lawyers, and academics. The participants shared their experiences with the new law and its practical implementation.

Administrative law still is a relatively unexplored field in Afghanistan and few Afghan references exist for those working in the field. Advancing this area of law will greatly help in the implementation of good governance. In particular, the Administrative Procedure Law influences important interactions between citizens and government, such as water and land disputes, and offer remedy against corruption.

As an important first step, the project has brought together a group of leading Afghan experts and organisations. The commentary will help civil servants, administrative review boards, courts, lawyers and academics, but ultimately also the individuals affected by an administrative decision, to make better use of the administrative procedure law. The project also includes an awareness campaign so that Afghan citizens know about their rights and what tools they have to shape the relationship with their government. The project will help to bridge the gap between government and citizens.

This forms part of the project “Strengthening the Implementation of the Administrative Procedure Law of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.