Afghanistan and the Rule of Law after 2021: Legal and Social Developments

After the political turmoil that shook Afghanistan in 2021, the Max Planck Foundation is taking the active role of a critical observer and analyst, maintaining its tightly knit network of Afghan and international scholars to track both the legacies of earlier trends in the rule of law in Afghanistan and their perpetuations, reversals, or mutations under Taliban rule. In 2022, symposia and expert working groups will convene observers from various professional backgrounds to explore and investigate the trajectories of legal developments after the end of the Islamic Republic. Attention will be directed not only to implications for human rights of Afghanistan’s citizens, including its most vulnerable groups, but also to the wider range of national and international legal questions that the Taliban takeover brings to the fore. In their pursuit of both domestic legitimacy and international recognition as the rightful government of Afghanistan, the self-declared rulers have already indicated that the law will be a key site of political contestation.

With the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Max Planck Foundation and its partners actively monitor and analyse these trends, from the proclaimed efforts of constitutional reform to the lived experiences of Afghan citizens who continue their lives under a changed regime. The various research projects will map and contextualise developments as they unfold, leading up to a conference in Heidelberg in winter 2022 and a collection to be published thereafter.