History of the Supreme Court
Based on article 116 of the constitution, judiciary is an independent organ of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
The judiciary shall be comprised of one Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal
as well as Primary Courts whose organization and authority shall be regulated by law.
Following the establishment of the new Supreme Court and based on the Law on Authority and Jurisdiction of Courts (2005), the judiciary is composed of the following structure:
- Supreme Court
- Appellate Courts
- Primary Courts
Based on article 116 of the constitution, Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ heading the judiciary in the state
Supreme Court is composed of (9) members one of whom shall be appointed as head of the Supreme Court by president.
The High Council shall have the following authorities:
Judicial Duties and Authorities:
- Review, in accordance with the law, the final and conclusive decisions of courts in case of appearance of new reasons/evidences based on objection of a party to the dispute, according to circumstances foreseen in this law and other laws.
- Resolve jurisdiction related disputes between courts in accordance with the law.
- Delegate adjudication jurisdiction of a case from one court to another on the basis of request from the Attorney General or a party to the dispute in the presence of justifiable reasons and a dire need in accordance with provisions of law.
- Take decision on extradition of a foreign national who is accused of a crime to a foreign country in accordance with the provisions of law.
- Take decision, within the scope of the provisions of article 28 of the Constitution, on the issue of handing over a citizen of the country who is accused of a crime to a foreign country.
- Review requests for clarifications and provide explanations to courts in order to implement law in a sound manner and to ensure a unified judicial precedent.
- Review and approve regulations, by-laws, terms of reference and guidelines.
- Deal with temporary dismissal of judges from duty in case of commission of misdemeanor or felony till the approval of dismissal of such judges by the President in accordance with law.
- Put judges on trial for commission of duty related crimes.
Administrative Duties and Authorities
The Supreme Court High Council shall have the following duties and powers in administrative and financial aspects:
- Review organizational structure and budget of the Judiciary.
- Approve and propose judicial appointment, appointment, transfer, promotion, acceptance of resignation, extension of service period, retirement, cancelling retirement and other personal affairs of judges according to the law.
- Approve proposals for the establishment of courts and determine judicial and administrative jurisdictions according to the law to be submitted to the President.
- In accordance with the law, approve proposals for the appointment of judges and judicial advisors to be submitted to the Office of the President.
- Arrange for facilities necessary for the activities of courts.
- Take necessary measures to facilitate for judicial training opportunities in order to improve legal knowledge of judges and other personnel.
- Take necessary measure to arrange and convene training programs for judges, court clerks and organize the relevant affairs of such programs.
- Review annual statistics report and activity reports of courts.
- Review results of inspections, scrutiny and research of judicial affairs and take necessary measures to eliminate defects and to unify and organize court procedures.
- Propose clemency or pardon in the sentence of convicted judges to the President.
- Review all other duties and exercise of authorities stipulated in this law, the Constitution and other legislative documents.
Details of judicial structures in Afghanistan are as follows:
First- in Supreme Court: Divisions of civil, commercial, public criminal, public security, military crimes, crimes and public interest and security, public rights; and division for cases of violence against women and juveniles delinquencies.
Duties of each division are fulfilled by a Supreme Court member and a number of judicial advisors.
Second- Appellate Courts: In each provincial capital, there shall be one appellate court with the following divisions:
- Public Criminal Division
- Public Security Division
- Civil and Family Division
- Public Rights Division
- Commercial Division
- Division on Crimes against Internal and External Security
- Division on Violence Against Women
- Division on Juveniles Delinquencies
- Traffic Division
- Military Division
- Division on Corruption Cases
Third- Primary Courts: Include city primary courts in provincial capitals and district primary courts in the capital of each district.
Fourth: Other courts: such as Juveniles Courts, EVAW Courts, Tax Courts, Courts on Usurpation of Public Properties, Family Courts, Commercial Primary Courts and Counter Narcotics Tribunal.
Fifth: Departments of Deeds Registration: These departments are located in the capital of each province registering the deeds needed by people. In the districts, tasks related to deeds registration are undertaken by district courts.
Supreme Court’s Central Structure:
Pursuant to Constitution approved in 2004, the Chief General Administrative Directorate of the Judiciary is established to organize the administrative affairs of courts and bring reforms in the judiciary, and operates through the following directorates:
- Office of the Chief Justice: Manages affairs of the Chief Justice Office; organizes meetings and international and external relations matters.
- Supreme Court Correspondence Directorate: organizes matters pertaining to petitions, and Supreme Court’s relations with the President’s Office, National Assembly and as well as with other government and non-government agencies.
- Supreme Court High Council Secretariat: This directorate organizes the secretarial and operational affairs of the Supreme Court High Council; Drafts and finalizes resolutions, memos, rulings and decisions of this council and shares the approved versions with the relevant institutions.
- General Directorate of Research and Studies: This directorate reviews and scrutinizes courts inquiries/request for clarifications and mattes related to promoting the Judicial Cadre Grades of judges; Expresses explanatory opinions and submit them to Supreme Court High Council for final review and scrutiny; Additionally this directorate drafts judicial laws and regulations and conducts the required legal and judicial research to consolidate the judicial practices.
- Directorate of Judicial Inspection: audits the courts affairs ordinarily every three years and extra ordinarily as required.
- General Directorate of Islamic Verdict: Issues Fatwas (verdicts) in response to queries for religions opinions
- Public Directorate: Manages and undertakes cultural and publication affairs of the judiciary in the areas of Qaza magazine, Mezan magazine, library of the judiciary, publication of books and judicial pamphlets.
- Finance & Administration Directorate: Manages financial and administrative affairs of the Supreme Court in line with laws, regulations, and by-laws. Is also responsible to protect properties of the judiciary and to construct and maintain new premises.
- Control and Monitoring Directorate: Undertakes the responsibility for combating corruption across judiciary.
- Human Resource Directorate: Executes personnel affairs of judiciary affiliates, including appointment, replacement, promotion and retirement.
- Judicial Education Directorate: Manages the Judicial Stage Program and furthers on service training programs for judges.
- Plan & Policy Directorate: it is a policy making directorate which develops all plans and policies of the judiciary, prepares various reports in this regard and submits them to relevant authorities.