Reconceptualizing Legal Pluralism in Afghanistan

THE SELECTED PROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD ANNUAL CANADIAN LAW STUDENT CONFERENCE, S. Alex Constantin et al., ed., Windsor, 2010

Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 21-52, April 2010

38 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2011

See all articles by Nafay Choudhury

Nafay Choudhury

American University of Afghanistan

Date Written: April 10, 2010

Abstract

Legal pluralism, properly understood, offers a rich analysis of Afghanistan’s legal system. The limited analysis of legal pluralism in current scholarship on Afghanistan may be due in part to the fuzziness that surrounds the very concept of legal pluralism itself. Charting through the apparent fuzziness, by recognizing the diversity of legal pluralism theories, as well as their inconsistencies and shortcoming, can provide a new approach to analyzing Afghanistan’s complex legal system. Part one of this paper will review the present scholarship on legal pluralism, covering some of the approaches taken by leading scholars in the field. Of key importance is the need to distinguish the so-called notions of “state” legal pluralism and “deep” legal pluralism, as well as to identify some of the major criticisms levied against the legal pluralism project. Part two will analyze some of the current scholarship on Afghanistan’s legal system. In light of the discussion on legal pluralism, it will become clear that most of this scholarship is confined to the notion of state legal pluralism. Part three of this paper will explore the possibility of examining Afghanistan’s legal system through the lens of deep legal pluralism, thus providing novel insights into how the country’s legal system could be structured.

Keywords: Afghanistan, legal pluralism, law, legal tradition, Islamic law, Shariah, civil law, customary law

JEL Classification: N45

Suggested Citation

Choudhury, Nafay, Reconceptualizing Legal Pluralism in Afghanistan (April 10, 2010). THE SELECTED PROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD ANNUAL CANADIAN LAW STUDENT CONFERENCE, S. Alex Constantin et al., ed., Windsor, 2010, Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 21-52, April 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1950178

Nafay Choudhury (Contact Author)

American University of Afghanistan ( email )

Darul Aman Road
Kabul, Kabul
Afghanistan

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