PhD Programme for Afghan Jurists

Afghanistan’s demand for higher legal education has continuously increased since 2001. However, the education system has been slow to adapt, as a result of which law students who can afford it study abroad. One of the reasons for insufficient study opportunities is the Regulation (Layaha) for Higher Education Programmes in Afghanistan, which requires Afghan law faculties to present at least four Doctors of laws as lecturers in order to initiate their own Master’s programme.

In this context, it is expected that through the PhD Programme for Afghan Jurists, several public universities (particularly those in Mazar-e Sharif and in Herat) will be able to supplement their faculties with PhD holders and thus be in a position to offer postgraduate law courses within the next few years. The programme also supports particularly outstanding Afghan jurists in order to maintain high standards of legal scholarship and expertise, especially in the fields of governance and public affairs.

Within the PhD Programme for Afghan Jurists, the Max Planck Foundation currently offers the “Hamida Barmaki PhD Scholarship” to 13 talented and committed law lecturers and jurists. This scholarship includes financial and academic support for the candidates to develop their doctoral research in universities located in Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Iran. Prior to joining the programme each of them had obtained a LLM degree from the USA, Australia, France, Italy or China. They are writing on topics as wide-ranging as international economic law, administrative law, constitutional law, intellectual property law, family law and human rights. The scholarship provides not only funding for several research stays abroad, but encompasses a broad variety of academic courses and guidance by experienced researchers and Max Planck Foundation experts.

In order to maintain continuity at their home institutions, most of the recipients continue teaching at their faculties throughout the period of the scholarship. According to Afghan law, the scholarship-grantees are obliged to return to Afghanistan and share the benefits of their research abroad by working as lecturers for a prescribed period after the completion of their PhD.


German Foreign Office


1 January 2014 – 31 December 2017

Local Partners

  • Afghanistan Civil Service Institute (ACSI)
  • Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution (ICOIC)
  • Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC)
  • Capacity Building for Results (CBR)

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