Judicial reform in Afghanistan is seriously undermined by systemic corruption that has resulted in low legitimacy of the state and weak rule of law. This article reviews the main shortcomings in the Afghan justice system with reference to 70 interviews conducted in Kabul. Building on legal pluralism and a political economic approach, the shortcomings and causes and consequences of corruption in the Afghan justice sector are highlighted. These range from low pay, resulting in bribery; criminal and political intrusion into the judiciary; non-adherence to meritocracy, with poorly educated judges and prosecutors; and low funding in the judicial sector resulting in weak case tracking and human rights abuses in the countryside. This is followed by sociological approaches: understanding corruption from a non-Western approach and emphasis on religion, morality and ethics in order to curb it.