New Training Program Focuses on Advancing Justice in Afghanistan

Posted by Robert Sauers
February 20, 2011
Afghan, German and U.S. Officials at Opening Ceremony for NIJAT in Kunduz Province

High-ranking government officials from Afghanistan, the United States, and Germany, along with representatives from international organizations celebrated the opening of the Northern Initiative for Justice Advancement Training (NIJAT) pilot project in Kunduz Province today. Nijat, a Dari word which means to improve a condition or situation, is used in this context to signify the combined efforts of the local and international community to promote a robust rule of law environment in Afghanistan.

The 11-week training is a joint effort of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, the German Police Project Team, and the European Police Mission. The training will provide substantive and practical lessons that enhance the participants' knowledge of investigative techniques, as well as trial and advocacy skills.

A total of sixty police officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges will complete the training consisting of a criminal investigation phase, trial phase, and a specialized adjudication two-week phase for judges. The goal of the training is to improve the capacity of justice sector professionals to investigate, prosecute, defend, and adjudicate criminal cases.

This project confirms the high commitment of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in ensuring that its judiciary institutions improve standards and performances in the area of justice and cements the strong partnership between the Afghan government and the international donor community. United States Rule of Law Coordinator Peter Fromuth reaffirmed this in stating, "Our belief in the international community is that we can do more to promote rule of law training in Afghanistan, and can do it better, if we do not act alone, but instead act as close partners."

This is the first initiative of its kind in Afghanistan. Upon completion of the pilot project, the sponsors and the relevant Afghan Ministries will determine whether to extend it to train more than 2,000 criminal law practitioners in northern Afghanistan.



Ahmed Q.
February 20, 2011

Ahmed Q. in Canada writes:

Does the US not care about the atrocities occurring in Libya !!!

Gaddafi is butchering the people ... hundreds killed ... rise to your obligations

M. T.
February 20, 2011

Owais T. in Germany writes:

This is a very good and positive action, i wanna say the well done America, Germany and other international donors in Afghanistan.

The most important thing which is making the people of Afghanistan to suffer is the issue of the existence of corruption in the Justice system of Afghanistan. this has a direct link with the continuation of war and trust of the Afghan people towards Taliban, in many places in Afghanistan after the people saw no justice from the government of Afghanistan they referred to Taliban to bring them fast and direct performance of justice which is giving more satisfactions to people, and this matter is making the reason that the Taliban get more powerful and have influence in the Afghan society more than the Afghan government which is with a huge mall administration and everyday it is getting worst than yesterday...

In Afghan government and parliament there is nothing exist by the name of love for the country at all. unfortunately they do take only the side of their sectarian and race under the names of Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara, Turkmen, and etc there is not a real person to call himself only Afghan....

If we want the end of the war in Afghanistan then we have to work in these social and national issues to make the people to love only their Afghanistan and not give any kind of assistance for Taliban...

New Mexico, USA
February 20, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

RE: "The goal of the training is to improve the capacity of justice sector professionals to investigate, prosecute, defend, and adjudicate criminal cases."

@ Robert,

Once upon a time a district court judge upon my asking him how to proceed in presenting my case pro-se in proper procedural format said, "I can't advise you on how to do that as the judge in this case, but I can say this about the language of law, in that law is logic, so proceed accordinmgly."

I spent the next two weeks buried in my state's supreme court law library and by the time I was done I had learned a few things like the contents of a proper motion before the court, rules of evidence, how to file and serve supoenas, court procedure, state statutes and legal precedents affecting this case, and I never would have been able to win that case or even defend myself in the civil matter properly without that library as resource.

It seems to me that the Afghan people have as much or more motivation to win their case, with a lot more at stake than I had in seeking justice.

You have an 11 week program, that's 9 weeks longer than this clueless citizen had to cram all this stuff in my head to win the case in a manner described by an attourny familiar with it as being a "better performance in court than most lawyers achieve in their first five cases fresh out of law school."
And suggesting seriously that I ask the judge for a scholarship to law school.

So all I'm suggesting here is that not only what USAID and the int. community is doing to train folks being essential to the logic of the law being implemented properly, but that if the Afghan gov. has not yet been able to compile the history of Afghan law and procedure in an accessable archive to it's citizens, that steps should be taken to help them stand up a national law library as an essential institution of justice that the citizen may use as public resource to seek justice and understanding of the law.

Most Afgans won't ever be able to afford a lawyer in civil cases, and that's not likely to change soon.

But as long as there's a resource they can tap into to learn how to present their case in the formal legal language of the court, then the citizens have the intelectual means to seek justice in their courts, pro-se.

The lack of literacy in Afghanistan is a problem restricting this at present, but won't be in years to come at the rate of learning and education being offered now in the country.

Keep up the good work,


El V.
United States
February 21, 2011

Aurea S. in the U.S.A. writes:

"Muslim Cleric Plans White House Protest in Attempt to Spread Sharia Law in America"

Our constitution guarantees domestic tranquility, this is a rally by the new Nazis of the world, why should they be allowed to protest anything in the land of the free! A seudo-religious group mask for a political agenda, racist and genocidal supporting terror, and in who's name we were attacked in 9/11.

No rally by the enemy in front or OUR White House! No rally by the new Nazis in our Capital.

They are purposefully instigating our pent-up rage since 9/11 with their barbarianism. Please take action before violence errupts in OUR country.
Aurea S., MPH


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