San Diego International Law Journal


Zalmay Mallyar

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Corruption in Afghanistan has emerged as one the greatest challenges to strengthening national and subnational governance and rebuilding a transparent and accountable system public services. One way that corrupt actors in Afghanistan have perpetuated corrupt practices is through hiding assets. Currently, Afghanistan has no specific mechanism or system for implementing or overseeing the declaration of assets—even though it has committed to creating an assets declaration criteria system as a means to fight corruption under Article 154 of the Afghan Constitution, Article 12 of the Anti-Corruption Strategy act, and various international treaties. This paper recommends that that Afghanistan seek to create a more effective assets declaration system that meets international standards by learning from the system used in the Republic of Georgia, a country that has been successful with this effort. From this comparative analysis, this paper suggests ideas for new legislation that would create a strong independent agency, establish new enforcement mechanisms, and involve civil society organizations. To support these recommendations, this paper begins by introducing the root of the problem of corruption in assets registration in Afghanistan, including a description of the current system (which is not currently enforced) and how the failure of this system perpetuates corruption. Next it describes the international treaties, principles, and rules for assets and income registration, to which Afghanistan is committed. From there it examines the Republic of Georgia’s assets declaration system, a successful model to learn from. The third part analyzes what systems could be useful Afghan context, including design and implementation of a new specific law with clear definition of the assets, the verification and investigation tools, and criminal rules for prosecuting violators. This section also discusses how Afghanistan could establish a strong independent agency to register assets and a standard system with limited exemption for asset registration, verification, investigation and disclosure of the assets of high government officials and their families. Finally, this paper offers practical suggestions and final thoughts about the challenges that the government will face in implementing this new system.