Afghan lawyers call on Taliban cabinet to restore independence of national bar – JURIST – News
EXCLUSIVE LEGAL OFFICER – Lawyers across Afghanistan sent letters to the taliban cabinet seeking the restoration of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association after the Justice Department took back its premises and assumed its attorney licensing power last week. On November 23, armed Taliban fighters broke into the association’s offices in Kabul, forced lawyers and opposing staff to leave, and announced the installation of a new president who would have no professional experience.
Copies of letters obtained by JURIST and signed by several lawyers of The provinces of Mazar-e-Sharif, Samangan, Faryab, Jawzjan and Herat call on the Taliban government to respect the independent AIBA and its licensing power as support for the administration of justice and the rights of litigants , and point out the link between AIBA and the International Bar Association, which helped establish it in 2008. They also claim that maintaining AIBA’s independence is not contrary to Islamic teaching. Given the delicate circumstances in Afghanistan under the new regime, however, the letters are carefully presented as requests for review, not requests. At this point, the Taliban authorities have not publicly responded to the calls.
Through a lawyer in Kabul, here is a rough English translation from Dari of one of the letters calling for a review of the effective shutdown of AIBA as an independent licensing authority:
To the senior official of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
As you know, the defense of rights is one of the fundamental needs of people before the courts.
To this end, the Bar Association was established in 2008 as an independent, non-governmental organization and became a member of the International Bar Association due to its independence.
Recently, the prestigious firm of the Islamic Emirate decided that the prestigious Ministry of Justice would license lawyers. And the association should be merged with the Ministry of Justice.
Since the Afghan Bar Association is a non-governmental organization, in doing so, the association’s many years of accomplishments as well as membership in the International Bar Association will be lost.
In our [the lawyers of Herat] in the opinion, the non-governmental character of the association is more in favor of justice and is not in contradiction with the religious texts.
Therefore, we agree on the independence of the association.
Thus, we ask the High Authority to recognize this institution as a non-governmental union and to order the competent authority to issue the authorizations in order to advance its affairs.
On the one hand, to solve the problems of our lawyers and on the other hand to implement the decision of the cabinet of the Islamic Emirate.
This statement is written as a suggestion.
The High Authority will instruct the competent authority as it sees fit.