The Afghanistan collection at the University of Michigan Law Library is limited, due to the unsettled state of Afghan law during the last century and the general lack of publication of Afghan legal materials. The Law Library’s Afghanistan collection includes materials mostly from the 1930s, in print, microform, and electronic formats.
The Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library also holds materials on Afghanistan legal topics, which have been included in the discussion of sources, throughout the guide.
Afghanistan Digital Library contains materials published between 1870 and 1930.
The official languages of Afghan legal publications are Pushtu (or Pashto, Pushto, or Pushta) and Dari (the Afghan variant of Farsi, or Persian).
As is the case with all legal research involving foreign law, the very important first step is to plan a research strategy. Consultation of general secondary sources and research guides will provide citations to likely subject-specific secondary sources, which will in turn provide citations to primary materials. Although there are a very limited number of available primary legal materials relating to Afghanistan, there are several good secondary sources in English that discuss Afghan law in some detail.
On the next few tabs is a bibliography of the Afghan law sources at the University of Michigan Law Library and the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. Some sources are in English.
Reynolds, T. and A. Flores. Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World (1989-). Commonly known as “Reynolds & Flores,” this multi-volume looseleaf set is the definitive tool for foreign legal research. “Afghanistan” appears in Volume 3-A, which includes Asia and the Middle East. Includes historical development of the Afghan legal system; lists of major codifications, other laws, and court reports, including English translations; and a subject index of legislation.
Vafai, G. Afghanistan: A Country Law Study (1988). Detailed overview of the Afghanistan’s history, legal system, government, and criminal, family and contract law, all as of the early 1980s.
An Introduction to the Law of Afghanistan. Includes extensive dicussion of laws of Afghanistan along with statutory supplement.
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