SOAS University of London

School of Law

Nazifa Haqpal


Nazifa Haqpal
Nazifa Haqpal
Email address:
Thesis title:
The impact of Legal Pluralism on the Role and Status of Afghanistan’s Judiciary (2001-2020)
Internal Supervisors


Nazifa Haqpal is a Former Afghan Diplomat. She has more than fifteen years of work experience in multi-cultural environments as a diplomat with the Afghanistan embassy in London, as an employee of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and as a practitioner with international NGOs i.e UNAMA and
ActionAid. Her roles hugely revolved around research, advocacy, communicating with diverse and
multilateral stakeholders at government and private sectors. Her extensive experience with national
and International NGOs working from community to policy level on issues such as human rights,
women empowerment, peacebuilding, international relation and diplomacy particularly on and in a
conflict-affected country such as Afghanistan enabled her to thoroughly understand and apprehend
socio legal, social justice and conflict resolution issues.

Nazifa has obtained her BA in Administration and Diplomacy from Law and Political Science faculty,
Kabul University-Afghanistan and a master’s degree in International Security and Diplomacy from
University of East Anglia. In addition to her academic qualifications, she has participated and attended several international training programs and conferences in and outside Afghanistan such as
Executive Seminars on Security and National Interest from National Défense University Washington
DC, Foreign Service Institute- US Depart of State, UK houses of Parliament etc. She has appeared in
Afghani and international media outlets such as BBC World News, BBC Pashto and VOA Pashto.

PhD Research

Nazifa’s interest to conduct this research not only stems from my personal and professional interest,
but also from her expertise in studying and exploring society, justice and peace issues and the
challenges that Afghanistan is currently facing in achieving it. Her research aims to understand and
analyse the implications and consequences of legal pluralism on the role and status of Afghanistan’s
judiciary. In conducting this research, Nazifa also wants to contribute to the on-going efforts to
reform the legal system and establish a functioning judiciary that is able to deliver unbiased justice
services, and to contribute towards state and peace building.

In a first step, the research project examines the judiciary from the perspective of the formal legal
system, such as the constitution and laws establishing and regulating the judiciary. This part of the
research will be rammed by a legal doctrinal approach. In the second part, using a socio-legal
approach, Nazifa plans to examine how the judiciary interacts with and understands what is often
referred as the informal legal system. The project will be exploring and interrogating the concept of
legal pluralism concept by conducting empirical research to investigate and analyse Afghanistan’s
informal legal system. The interaction of three spheres of law, i.e. state law, Islamic law and
customary law within Afghanistan’s legal system will form central part of her research, that
investigates the interaction of other normative and informal legal orders and non-state justice fora
from the lens of deep legal pluralism.

Nazifa’s research is informed by her interest in the ways in which formal and informal justice
systems operate, compete, combat or cooperate for dispute resolution, maintaining but also
endangering social justice and peace.