The HBORL Working Paper Series is designed to disseminate preliminary research results. The views, findings, conclusions and recommendations contained herein are strictly those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Hamida Barmaki Organization for the Rule of Law.

Unless otherwise noted, copyright to posted working papers is retained by their respective authors. Readers may download and make verbatim copies of these documents for non-commercial purposes by any means. We welcome feedback from readers and encourage you to convey comments directly to the authors. Please contact HBORL if you cannot have difficulties to reach them. Final versions of most of the Working Papers are published in Dari language in the Yearbook of Afghan Legal Studies (YALS).

Sayed Hameed Zia is the editors of the HBORL Working Papers. The authors are Afghan and international academics who are closely collaborating with the Hamida Barmaki Organization for the Rule of Law.

Publishing Standards

Scholars who would like to publish a paper in this series may contact the editors at any time. They are asked to use the template for Working Papers and to strictly follow the Publishing Standards.
 Template for Working Papers
Publishing Standards for Working Papers

Available Working Papers:


“This article advances an enquiry into President Hamid Karzai’s (r. 2001-2014) constitutional legacy with special reference to relations between the executive and legislature during his presidency. Before engaging in that enquiry, a brief account is given in the introduction of the developments during the months following Karzai’s exit from office …”

Friederike Stahlmann
The Power of Experience: Civil War Effects on Seeking Justice through Disputing
HBORL Working Paper 2015/04
Uploaded on 16 February 2015


“Based on data gathered through anthropological research in the city of Bamyan in 2009, this paper discusses some of the effects of protracted civil war and violent regime changes on the possibility to seek justice through disputing. In comparison to other areas of Afghanistan, the city of Bamyan provides for an unusual setting in this regard, as all the main conditions for a positive environment for disputing seem to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, the author encountered the persistent opinion and found statistical evidence that relatively weaker parties hardly have a chance to successfully defend their rights-claims …”

Asifa Quraishi-Landes
Legal Pluralism in an Islamic State: Reflections on the Afghan Constitution.
HBORL Working Paper 2015/02
Uploaded on 12 February 2015


“This paper addresses the importance of legal pluralism as an essential feature of Islamic government. Drawing on legal and political concepts from pre-modern Muslim systems and jurisprudence, the author explains the importance of differentiating between two types of law in an Islamic context: (1) “siyasa,” made by the state in furtherance of the public good; and (2) “fiqh,” made by religious legal scholars based on interpretation of the Qur‘an and Sunnah…”

Muhammad Yusuf Saleem
Afghan Laws on Islamic Finance: Lessons from Malaysia
HBORL Working Paper 2015/05
Uploaded on 18 February 2015


“The Malaysian laws and experiences in Islamic banking and finance provide important lessons for Afghanistan. The author describes the Malaysian laws on Islamic finance and the role of the regulatory authorities such as Central Bank (Bank Negara Malaysia) and its Shariah Advisory Council to supplement the laws with policy documents and resolutions. He further explains how Islamic financial institutions in Malaysia creatively employ the contracts of …”


“While the growing interest in informal justice is an important step in understanding the various forms of access to justice in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the conceptual dichotomy between formal and informal justice misinterprets the actual hybrid nature of accessing justice that most Afghans experience currently. Hybridity in access to justice, as opposed to duality, appears on all levels of the justice system from the Constitution to the resolution of local land disputes …”