The Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice: Afghanistan and Kosovo in Comparative Perspective

17 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2017

Date Written: April 11, 2007


This short paper employs a comparative law perspective to briefly highlight international efforts to develop rule of law institutions in Afghanistan and Kosovo as of April 2007. Both countries have been subjected to significant recent armed conflicts that have also involved the international community. Both have also been the focus of significant international efforts to improve the administration of justice, which are briefly described.

The paper identifies the constitutional and political frameworks for rule of law institutions in each country. In particular, this work briefly surveys the legal historical context in each region before turning to examine the role and function of the current political executive. The paper also considers the state of the judicial systems, the courts and the role of the legal professions in both countries. The paper notes that local conditions have had significant adverse effects on efforts to improve the justice systems in Kosovo and Afghanistan. In this respect, the establishment of national justice systems appears to be detrimentally affected by factors in such as under-qualification of officials, tribal or ethnic affiliations and local allegiances, as well as religious differences in both states.

However, recent Freedom House measurements related to the rule of law in both regions suggests some progress can be made, in the face of challenging local conditions, to establish effective and efficient justice systems. While local factors may affect the implementation of rule of law in newly formed or emerging states, the results of efforts to introduce of law and order in Kosovo and Afghanistan seems, as of 2007, to represent some positive steps towards democratic rule of law.

Keywords: Comparative Law, Public Administration, Rule of Law, Administration of Justice, Justice System, Administration of Justice, Afghanistan, Kosovo

JEL Classification: F53, J88, K19, K33, N40, N90, O29, P37

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Thomas, The Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice: Afghanistan and Kosovo in Comparative Perspective (April 11, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Harrison (Contact Author)

Queen's University ( email )

Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

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