The Foundation’s series of symposia continues with national and international perspectives on Taliban-ruled Afghanistan

From geopolitics to the administration of criminal justice, the latest symposium offered a platform to present and discuss the speakers’ research.

The second Afghanistan Legal Research Network online symposium of 2023, hosted by the Max Planck Foundation on 29 March, featured talks on comparative analysis of Western and Eurasian discourses about and states’ engagement in Afghanistan as well as the application of Republican era criminal law in the Taliban-run courts of Herat city.

Dr Filippo Costa Buranelli, a Fellow at the Centre for Global Law and Governance and Associate Fellow at the Institute for the Study of International Politics in Milan, Italy, presented his research ‘Your problem, my opportunity: comparing Western and Eurasian discourses and practices over Afghanistan’. He compared the diplomatic and geostrategic approaches taken by Afghanistan’s regional neighbours in Central Asia with those preferred by Western governments, from broader questions of inter-state power dynamics down to points of principle concerning such pressing issues as women’s rights and the formation of an inclusive government.

Fardina Ahrari, a former law lecturer at Herat University in Afghanistan, presented her paper ‘Do Taliban apply pre-existing criminal laws in the prosecution of a case?’. Her findings highlighted the trends and aberrations in the application of prior criminal legislation in Taliban-staffed courts and patterns in the operationalisation of Hanafi Islamic jurisprudence.

The proceedings were part of a series hosted by the Afghanistan Legal Research Network at the Foundation and took place under the umbrella of the project Civil Society and the Rule of Law, generously funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.