The Speech of H E Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar, Minister of Justice of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Glorious Occasion of Presenting the Afghanistan Penal Code

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

His Excellency, the Second Vice President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency, the Minister of Pilgrimage and Endowments, Distinguished members of Parliament, Honorable members of Supreme Court and office of Attorney General, Honorable Head and Members of Oversighting the Implementation of the Constitution Commission, Respectful Members of Scrutinizationof the Panel Code, Respectful Professors of Universities, Academic and Research Institutes, Distinguished Guests of International Organizations, and friendly countries of international community, dear colleagues of National and International Media family,

Assalam Alaikum wa Rehmatullah wa Barakatuhu!

First of all, as the Minister of Justice, I would like to welcome you all to this auspicious occasion, and at the same time, would like to convey you, the greatest appreciation and gratitude of Ministry of Justice and other Justice Institutions.

We all believe that the Penal Code is one of the most important legal documents of our and every other country in the world. Upon embracing the Holy Religion of Islam by the people of this land, the Holy Qura’an and Hadiths of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) through the scrupulousness (Ijtihad)of the great juris consults (Aemah) of Islam, have been applied in all arenas, in particular, in the field of punitive related matters. From the med nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, and after attaining of independence, the judicial guidelines have been codified on various junctures, but the first Penal Law of Afghanistan was codified during the presidency of Mohammad Dawood Khan, the first president of Afghanistan inthe year 1355, availing from the most credible and reliable sources and the laws of the Islamic countries. In the last forty years of ups and downs in the lives of our people, the emergence of new crimes, accession of Afghanistan to the international conventions, and particularly after the establishment of the new systemin Afghanistan in 2001,the cabinet of Afghanistan decided that all legislative documents should be revised considering the spirit of 1382 Constitution of Afghanistan. Thence, on the basis of the commitment of former president, His Excellency, Hamid Karzai at the historical London Conference on reviewing and re-codifying the laws, in particular, the Penal Code,the proposal of re-codification and revision of this code was presented by the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice.

The project of the Panel Code was approved by the then president and was inaugurated on 13/1/1391. Considering the significance of the matter for drafting and reviewing this Code, a group of law reform experts comprised of national and international institutions began to work on it.

The Law Reform Group, onthe basis of 1355 Penal Law, produced a draftthrough necessarymodifications and correctionsand by applying the noted points, and after four and a half years of regular, continuous and accurate work, the initial draft was completed on 12/2/1395 and was officially presented to the Ministry of Justice. On the basis of the commitments of the National Unity Government leadersat the London Conference thatthis valuable law should have been presented to the cabinet prior to the Brussels Conference;the Ministry of Justice requested the president’s office, the establishment of a scrutiny commission for an accurate and precise review of the prepared draft.

The cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, consequently, approved an eight member commission. The members of the commission,under the chairmanship of Qanoonpoh Mohammad Ashraf Rasooli were comprised of Qazawatpoh MuzafaruddinTajalli, Saranpoh Abdul GhafarIrfani, Poohand NasrullahStanakzai, Qanoonwal Abdul MajeedGhanizada, Qaanonpal Ashraf Khan Azeemi, Mr. Rohullah Qarizada, and Qaanonmal Fareed Ahmad Fakhr Atayee.

The commission carried out the scrutiny work on the draft Penal Code for six months, and the final draft was presented to the cabinet of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on 6thMeezan, 1395. The cabinet of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, through paragraph 3 of the decision No. 15, dated8th of Meezan 1395, resolved that the cabinet members, in order to enrich the Penal Code, should send their views and feedbacks to the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice, on account of the special importance of the code, after incorporating the necessary views and feedbacks,discussed the code withthe following personalities; including His Excellency, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Gani- the President of Afghanistan, His Eexcellency, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah- the Chief Executive, His Excellency, Mohammad Sarwar Danish- the Second Vice President, His Excellency, SayedYousufHaleem-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, His Excellency, Ahmad FareedHameedi- the Attorney General, His Excellency, Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar- Minister of Justice, His Excellency, Mohammad Ashraf Rasooli-Head of the Commission on Scrutiny of the Penal Code, Mrs. Farkhunda Zahra Naderi- Advisor to the President on UN Affairs, Professor Nasrullah Stanikzai- Head of Justice and Legal Board of the President’s Office, Qanoonwal Abdul Majeed Ghanizada- Head of the Legislative Institute, Qanoonpal Ashraf Khan Azeemi, Deputy Head of Legislative Institute, Mr. Ahmad Nader Naderi, Head of the Independent Commission of Administrative Reform and Civil Services.

His Excellency, the President, as he himself said that he had thoroughly studied the Penal Code for three times, and submitted some 80 observations and viewsto the Ministry of Justice. Other members of the cabinet too presented their views and suggestions for the enrichment of the Penal Code.

In the enrichment of this valuable and historic Penal Code, the views and feedbacks of the great religious scholars both from the Sunnah and Shiite thoughts of schools, the members of Overall Council of Religious Scholars of Afghanistan, Coordination Body of Ulema, the respected preachers of the grand mosques of Kabul city, scholars and professors of the Law and Theology Faculties of the universities of Afghanistan, have been included.

The draft of the Penal Code was distributed to the heads of Appellate Courts of the capital and the provinces in order to obtain their views and suggestions. A panel assigned by the Supreme Court collected their views and discussed them with the Legislative Institute once again, and their valuable and academic opinions were incorporated into the draft.

The Penal Code was supposed to have been presented to the National Assembly, but due to the commitments of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the international community, this code was approved by the cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan through decision No. 256, dated 12/12/1395, and it was instructed to be endorsedvia Legislative Decree of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.Accordingly, the Presidential Decree No. 256 was issued on 14thHoot, 1395, so that the Code be published in the official gazette and nine months timing were considered for its enforcement, during which opportunity for the public noticethrough convening seminars, gatherings and trainings are provided. This code, after completion of its translation and designing the format of official gazette, was published under serial No.1260, dated 25 Sawor, 1396, thence, it was presented to His Excellency, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani- the President of the country, and His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah- the Chief Executive. This code was also presentedto His Excellency- the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, His Excellency- the Attorney General and His Excellency- the Minister of Interior Affairs.

Now, in this glorious occasion, we are hereby, presenting this Code to His Excellency, Mohammad Sarwar Danish- the Second Vice President, the Head of Law Committee of the cabinet and the Head of Justice and Judicial Reform Commission.

I congratulate and present this valuable document to His Excellency and all the officials of justice and judicial system of the country.

I pray to AlmightyAllah, the Cherisher and the Sustainer of the world, the Judge and Master of the Day of punishment, to make the enforcement of this code, aresourceto ensure the prevalence of a comprehensivejustice in the country, and uproot the usurpation, bullying, injustice, discrimination, division, abduction, cultivation and trafficking of the narcotics, all kinds of vice and immorality, deviousness and occupancies of mafia.

I also pray to Allah to give strength to the justice and judicial system of the country tofully exercisethehonesty and rectitude in their conducts in achieving justice through impartial manners, take decisionscomplying just and courageously implement the resolutions without any fear and worry, so that the justice is ensured.

I would like to assure the people of Afghanistan of adherence to the Constitution, as Article 3 of the Constitution states “No law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam in Afghanistan”. This Penal Code has been developed, drafted and codified in accordance with it. The provisions ofthe Article 7 of Afghanistan Constitution, as well as the essences of those international treaties and conventions, whom the government of Afghanistan has on various occasions acceded to, ratified by both houses of the parliament, and published in the official gazette, have also been considered.

Availing the opportunity, and conforming with the saying of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH), “Whoever is not grateful to people, is not grateful to Allah”, I oblige myselfand on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, in particular, the Legislative Institute,to express appreciations and gratefulness from the bottom of my heart to His Excellency, the President, His Excellency, the Chief Executive, His Excellency, the Second Vice President, His Excellency, the Chief Justice of Supreme Court and the High Council of the Supreme Court, His Excellency, the Attorney General and the High Council of the Attorney General’s Office,the respected scholars, the esteemed members of the Ulema High Council, the respected members of the Law Reform Group, the respected members of the High Council of Scrutiny of the Penal Code, ministries and government agencies, representatives of the international community and the UN Organizations, in particular, the Lawyers Union and the Independent Association of Advocates,for their wise, kind and expedient guidance and valuable cooperation.


Thank you.