Adam Baczko is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the EHESS in Paris. Currently he is a Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.
In the context of civil war, in which judging is both a judicatory activity and a weapon in the political struggle, how can an armed group establish a court system, have it recognized as such, and derive political advantages from it at the same time? How can it have the rulings of its judges recognized as judiciary and not political acts, while, as an insurgency, those decisions have direct political consequences? How, despite being an actor in a civil war, can the insurgent judge pronounce a judgment without being affected by the confusion between political positions and private interests that pervades war-ridden societies? How can he, who is both an insurgent as well as a judge, manage to be recognized in his judicial function by the population? This presentation will investigate how an armed group creates and legitimizes judicial institutions based on fieldwork researching the Taliban courts in Afghanistan.