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Afghanistan Legal Research: Home

This guide is intended to assist researchers in studying the law of Afghanistan through sources available at the UM Law Library and the Graduate Library. Certain relevant issues relating to international law, such as human rights, are also included.

About the Law Library's Afghanistan Collection

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).

Researching the Law of Afghanistan

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.

General Resources of Afghanistan's Law and Legal System

To read more about the history of Afghanistan and the Afghan Legal System, check out the following resources:

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.

Constitutions of the Countries of the World (1971-). Includes an extensive legal and political history. Also available online.

 An Introduction to the Law of Afghanistan. Includes extensive dicussion of laws of Afghanistan along with statutory supplement.

Guide Created by

Alex Zhang
S-134 Legal Research

University of Michigan Law Libary

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