Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, June 24th, 2019

How to Promote Rule of Law in Afghanistan?

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 How to Promote Rule of Law in Afghanistan?

The philosophies of enacting laws are to ensure justice, orders and protect the rights of citizens in a country. It is the rule of law that draws a distinction between human societies and wildlife, and provides a safe environment for people to live in. Thereupon, Afghanistan has enacted very good laws comparing to neighbouring countries but the persisting problem which challenges the country is failing to institutionalize or putting them in effect.  Laws on paper and without rule can never help societies. Some experts believe that the violation of laws in a massive scale underlines the need to convene the Constitutional Loya Jirga, and address all the existing flaws. Additionally, for the justice and equal implementation of laws, the law enforcement agencies should be strengthened, and become more independent because only law amendment cannot suffice.
In addition to the aforementioned solution, this paper is trying to focus on socio-cultural dimension of rule of law in Afghanistan. It is therefore very important to make sure that socially people are ready to obey the law. For example, we need to make sure that everyone has a right mindset of rule of law. We must guide everyone to understand that maintaining the authority of the constitution and law means maintaining the authority of the common will of Afghan citizen. Luckily, most of new age group has realized the negative effect of lawlessness and violence. That’s why they want peace, lawfulness and defend from their governments and national security; they understand when the rule of law disappears, the countries are ruled by the criminals and corrupt men. The more we tolerate lawlessness, the more we repress.
In other word, the greatest challenge for a country lies not in making laws, but in putting those laws into effect. To ensure the rule of the law in Afghanistan, we must integrate the rule of law with the rule of virtue. Laws are ethics that have been written down, while ethics are laws that we follow in our hearts. Both function to regulate social behaviour and maintain social order. Therefore, in running our country and society, we need to lay emphasis on both the rule of law and the rule of virtue, ensuring both the rule of the law in regulating behaviour and the role of ethics in shaping the mind, so that law and virtue promote and enhance each other and rule of law and rule of virtue complement each other.
To ensure the rule of the law in regulating social behaviour, we must also ensure that rule of law gives expression to virtues and that the laws better promotes the development of civic morality. Ethics constitutes the foundation of the law. This means that only laws that conform to ethics and have deep moral foundations will be conscientiously observed by majority of the people. Laws, on the other hand, serve to safeguard ethics. This means that good civic ethics can be fostered through compulsory regulation of people’s behaviour and turn basic ethics and convention into laws and regulations, ensuring that laws and regulation are more representatives of virtues and humanistic spirit. Therefore, we need to regularly update and also educate in school and university level, so as to enhance the overall moral fabric our society.
To ensure the role of ethics in shaping the mind, we must nurture the rule of law with ethics and strengthen the role of ethics foster the culture of rule of law. No matter how many laws we make, or how good those laws are, people will only genuinely abide by them once they have become ingrained in their subconscious. As the saying goes, “a person without shame knows no limits.” Without the nutrition that virtue provides, the culture of rule of law will have nothing to enforce our laws. As we advance the rule of law in the country, we must promote the core national and Afghan values, carry forward traditional virtue, and cultivate social morality, professional ethics, family values, and moral integrity of individuals. By raising the moral integrity of our people as a whole, we will create a favourable humanistic environment to underpin the rule low in Afghanistan.
Similarly, to ensure that the law is observed by all, we must raise awareness of the rule of law among the general public. We must view the efforts to spread basic legal knowledge among the people and to encourage them to abide by the laws as long-term, fundamental tasks of the laws-based governance of the country, and take highly effective measures to strengthen publicity and educational initiative concerning our legal system.
By and large, we must start education on the rule of law with the child; incorporate such education into our national education system and our initiatives for cultural and ethical progress; and constantly enhance the awareness of rules o among young people, starting out with simple requirements before moving on progressively to more difficult ones. At the same time, we need to keep adequate records regarding compliance with the law on the part of citizens and organization; improve the mechanism to reward people for good faith when they abide by the law and punish them for bad faith when break it; and create a social atmosphere in which people feel that it is honourable to abide by the laws and disgraceful to brake it, so that all people show respect for the laws and act consciously to observe it.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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