Stregthening the Judiciary in “Forgotten Provinces” – Phase 2 (Past Project)

The “Forgotten Provinces” legal education project is aimed at addressing the problems resulting from gaps in legal education provided to aspiring legal professionals in Afghanistan. This lack of capacity is in large part due to the fact that Afghan institutions and the international community have provided adequate support to justice institutions in only some parts of the country, primarily in large and important cities (e.g. Herat, Mazar-e Sharif, Jalalabad) and in provinces with well-funded Provincial Reconstruction Teams (e.g. Helmand, Kunduz). Other regions have been rather “forgotten”; this mainly holds true for unsafe, rural and mountainous provinces.

Two central aims to this project can be discerned. First, it is sought to strengthen compliance with minimal standards of the rule of law and human rights. Second, efforts shall help to increase awareness among legal and non-legal professionals about their rights and the rights of others in particularly underdeveloped and neglected provinces.

In order to determine the nature of the gaps in legal education and to find out where educational programmes are most urgently required, an initial needs assessment was carried out. As a result, the provinces in which the need for substantive and administrative support with regard to legal training is greatest have been identified: Daikundi, Farah, Ghor, Jowzjan, Khost, Kunar, Nimruz, Nuristan, Uruzgan and Zabol. Researchers of the Afghanistan Division of the Max Planck Foundation, in cooperation with the Hamida Barmaki Organization in Kabul, directly supported the judicial institutions in the above mentioned provinces with a tailored programme, which included training courses, mentorship schemes and the use of radio and other media for the provision of legal education to especially hard-to-reach areas.

The ten identified provinces were covered during 2013 with our programme’s designed missions. The next phase of the programme already started in the beginning of 2014 with new themes and plans to enhance the capacity of the justice institutions and to reach the project’s main goals. The efficacy of all project activities are continuously assessed and monitored.

Duration

1 January 2013–31 December 2015

Funding