Our History

Central to the thinking and teaching of Hamida Barmaki, the renowned Human Rights Commissioner and Professor at Kabul University (1970-2011), was the strong belief that the rule of law is fundamental to achieving durable peace in the aftermath of conflict, to effectively protect human rights, and to sustained economic progress and development. She often explained to her fellow Afghans the principle that everyone – from the individual up to the State itself – should be accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated. Being a faithful Muslim, Hamida Barmaki always sought to harmonize international standards of the rule of law with Islamic principles.

As a representative of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Afghanistan, Hamida Barmaki played a central role in the development and implementation of numerous projects aimed at establishing and implementing the rule of law in Afghanistan. After her death following an insurgent attack in January 2011, her colleagues in Afghanistan and Germany decided to continue this work. This newly established non-governmental and non-profit organization was named after her in honor of her tremendous commitment to strengthening the rule of law and human rights in Afghanistan.

The Hamida Barmaki Organization for the Rule of Law (HBORL) was registered with the Ministry of Economy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 26.06.2013 (Registration No. 2991). Its Board of Directors consists of renowned jurists and intellectuals. Sayed Hameed Zia and Dr. Tilmann J. Röder were appointed as the Organization’s Executive Directors at its first session.

In July 2013, representatives of the Organization signed a cooperation agreement with the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law located in Heidelberg (Germany), according to which the Organization is the exclusive implementer of the Foundation’s activities in Afghanistan. Since then, the partner organizations have developed and implemented numerous projects together. The Hamida Barmaki Organization for the Rule of Law is also beginning to develop projects of its own. These are listed in other sections of this website.