The Taliban stormed to power and took back control of Afghanistan in August 2021. They have apparently reintroduced an autocratic Islamic Emirate, not unlike the system of governance that defined their first spell in power from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban’s swift military triumph put an end to the frail peace negotiations between the late Afghan government and the Taliban.

At present, the Taliban remain ambiguous about how exactly their current ‘Islamic Emirate will be guided, legally speaking. While it seems certain that they will draft yet another constitution in Afghanistan, it remains to be seen whether they will follow both the classic and modern principles of Islamic governance, and whether rights-based approaches will have any space therein. Nevertheless, the Taliban’s official conduct, as manifested in publications by regime insiders and the emerging practices of the fledgling Taliban regime, suggests that the prospects for a rights-friendly regime look bleak at best.


Publication date
14 December 2022
M. Bashir Mobasher, Mohammad Qadam Shah and Shamshad Pasarlay
Number of pages
978-91-7671-572-7 (PDF)



Executive summary


Chapter 1. The Taliban movement: a brief background

Chapter 2. The Taliban’s first government: 1994–2001

Chapter 3. The Taliban’s constitutional order: 1996–2001

Chapter 4. The Taliban’s return to power and the prospects for law-bound governance

Chapter 5. How to use this resource

Annex A. Translations


About the authors

About International IDEA

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The Constitution and Laws of the Taliban 1994-2001

Hints from the Past and Options for the Future
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