EXCLUSIVE LAWYER – Lawyers from all over Afghanistan sent letters to the taliban cabinet seeking the restoration of Independent Bar Association of Afghanistan after the Justice Department took over its premises and assumed its attorney licensing authority last week. On November 23, armed Taliban fighters entered the Association’s offices in Kabul, forced the lawyers and staff there 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 signal AIBA’s link to the International Bar Association, which helped establish it in 2008. They also claim that maintaining the independence of AIBA is not contrary to Islamic teaching. Given the delicate circumstances in Afghanistan under the new regime, however, the letters are carefully framed as requests for consideration, not demands. So far, the Taliban authorities have not publicly responded to the appeals.
Via a lawyer in Kabul, here is a rough Dari English translation of one of the letters requesting a review of the effective closure 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 basic needs of litigants 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 esteemed firm of the Islamic Emirate decided that the esteemed Ministry of Justice would issue licenses to lawyers. And the association should be merged into the Ministry of Justice.
As the Afghan Bar Association is a non-governmental organization, in doing so, the association’s many years of achievements as well as its 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 rather in favor of justice and does not conflict with 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 licenses 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.