Earlier this year, the World Justice Project (WJP) released The Rule of Law in Afghanistan, which synthesizes key findings from The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2020, and WJP’s first ever Afghan Inmates Survey. D3 and its subsidiary, ACSOR-Surveys, managed sampling, fieldwork, and data processing for both studies that contributed to the report.
The Rule of Law in Afghanistan presents a comprehensive overview of the attitudes toward the justice system and rule of law over time in Afghanistan through data collected from the general public, in-country legal practitioners, and inmates of the Afghan prison system. The Afghan Inmates Survey augments the yearly national polling data with a further look into the vulnerable population of incarcerated Afghans. Designed to capture inmate experiences from the moment of arrest through the completion of a criminal trial, the results add insights on inmate demographics, arrest procedures, prisoner treatment, and legal processes. Key findings from this survey include:
- Adherence to due process during and after arrest is weak but has improved over time.
- After arrest, it remains common that suspects are not immediately taken to official law enforcement facilities, and experience different forms of mistreatment during this time.
- Due process during criminal trials in the formal court system has improved over time, reflected by a greater percentage of inmates now being given the opportunity to speak during their primary and appellate trials.
- Inmates are now more likely to report that they were represented by a defense attorney during their primary trial, however it remains common for defense attorneys to meet their clients for the first time at the beginning of trial proceedings.
The findings are based on results from the following surveys:
- General Population Poll (GPP): This survey was conducted with 3,019 respondents from September 17-25, 2019. The sample was nationally representative and included respondents from all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Data from this project was first published in WJP’s Rule of Law Index® 2020 earlier this year.
- Afghan Inmates Survey: This survey was conducted with 557 inmates across five prison facilities in Afghanistan from December 16th, 2019 to January 8th, 2020. A stratified sample was used to ensure representativeness, and minimum-security prisons were selected according to the size of the inmate population. Interviews were conducted using an audio-narrated RCS CAPI survey, designed to be self-administered by inmates after introduction and setup by enumerators.
The General Population Poll was the sixth time D3/ACSOR has conducted fieldwork for the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® in Afghanistan. The Afghan Inmates Survey was piloted for this first time for The Rule of Law in Afghanistan report. The Rule of Law in Afghanistan: Key Findings from 2019 is the fourth edition of the report that has been released to the public since 2016.