Collapse of justice system in Afghanistan leaves countless at the mercy of the Taliban

The erosion of the justice system in Afghanistan has left countless at the mercy of the Taliban, including lawyers, prosecutors and judges. This is particularly true for women, the Law Society of England and Wales has warned.

The Law Society has raised its concerns with the United Nations (UN) as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).*

Law Society President Nick Emmerson said: “The complete collapse and dismantling of the legal system, which began after the resurgence of the Taliban in 2021, remains a significant worry.

“The Taliban have dismissed all previously appointed prosecutors and judges, as well as abolished the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association and the Attorney General’s Office, which has undermined the rule of law and access to justice.

“Countless lawyers have also had their licenses revoked and are prohibited from practising. Women lawyers are excluded from taking their qualifying examinations, renewing their licenses, or appearing in court.

“Only Taliban-approved men lawyers are allowed to appear in court, where they are required to pledge loyalty to the state and comply with the Taliban’s extreme interpretation of sharia law.

“Having effectively banned all women lawyers, prosecutors, and judges, the Taliban have seriously restricted access to justice for women. Judicial bodies will not accept women’s petitions or allow women to appear alone in court.”

The dismantling of the legal system has also led to the systematic persecution of legal practitioners.

Nick Emmerson concluded: “Many legal professionals who worked in the legal system prior to the Taliban takeover have become targets of the Taliban.


Collapse of justice system in Afghanistan leaves countless at the mercy of the Taliban