Haroun Rahimi

Haroun Rahimi is an Assistant Professor at Herat University, and an adjunct faculty at American University of Afghanistan. Dr Rahimi obtained his BA in Law from Herat University. His LLM and PhD are from University of Washington. Dr Rahimi’s research focuses on economic laws, institutional development, and institutional reform in context of less developed countries. He has also collaborated as an independent consultant with a number of research firms and policy think tanks in Afghanistan. Currently, Dr Rahimi is working on a research that examines the role of business associations in reducing and managing business risks in Afghanistan.

Designation: Herat University, Law and Political Science Faculty
Institution: Herat University, Law and Political Science Faculty
Paper: To Sue or Not to Sue: How Afghan Merchants Strategically Choose to Use or Avoid Courts?
Abstract: "This article compares the effectiveness and popularity of formal and informal dispute resolutions in Afghanistan. It provides two major insights into working of commercial dispute resolutions. First, willingness of the courts to recognize the informally-developed transactions is a major determinant of whether merchants refer their disputes to courts. Second, the presence of strong and widespread social ties along with cultural salience of informal institutions of dispute resolution (e.g. jirga and shura) has allowed Afghan merchants to resolve their commercial disputes informally; however, the decision to choose informal institutions is made based on practical considerations. This article offers two recommendations: (a) improving the enforceability of commercial court’s judgements, and (b) recognizing the dispute resolution function of local business associations. Afghanistan needs to take practical steps to improve the enforcement of commercial courts’ judgments. In doing so, Afghanistan should prioritize improving the handling of commercial property disputes by the courts. Formal dispute resolution institutions have decisive disadvantages over informal institutions when it comes to resolving contractual disputes. Prioritizing commercial property disputes can generate positive feedback promoting the use of courts. Moreover, Afghanistan’s judiciary needs to effectuate the expectations of parties in context of innovative commercial arrangements."