Training of Aspiring Judges IV (Past Project)

In 2008 the Supreme Court of Afghanistan decided to train 1,000 new judges over the period of 2009 to 2014. Every year, up to 320 young law or Shari’a graduates are selected in a nation-wide process for the Judicial Training Programme that is locally called “stage” (the French term for “internship”).

The Max Planck Foundation’s analysts and researchers are cooperating with efforts to offer enhanced support to the Supreme Court through the production and provision of legal teaching handbooks and materials and by coordinating the initial six months of training of each new course. Participants are trained in numerous areas of law of fundamental importance, including constitutional law, human rights, general as well as special parts of criminal law, fair trial standards, Sunni and Shia family law, court organisation, judicial ethics, administrative law, international law, and property and ownership (“land law”). These manuals and materials are continuously updated in accordance with legislative and procedural developments.

From 2006 to 2012, the training sessions were delivered mainly by university professors and other non-judicial staff. Between November 2012 and July 2014, a ground-breaking development and training scheme, developed and coordinated by analysts at the Max Planck Foundation, has produced a group of young Afghan judges who have been selected and trained to teach all future courses under the supervision of more experienced Afghan judges. Analysts at the Max Planck Foundation have continued supporting them with training, technical legal assistance, materials and literature and have monitored the progression of these courses. This change is an important step towards the eventual hand-over of the training and educational scheme to the Supreme Court. It is envisaged that the Supreme Court will establish a system and procedure by which they will be empowered to independently realise the training thus far managed by the Max Planck Foundation without any further assistance from 2016 onward. Some of the advancements that have been seen include the young trainers using modern teaching tools and methods such as mock trials as well as advanced IT systems in class.

Additionally, the Max Planck Foundation invited altogether 340 practicing judges in the years 2013 and 2014, who took part in the Judicial Training Programme during the past years, to workshops aimed at introducing them to new legislation and legal developments in different law areas for the purpose of their continued professional development. Besides, the Max Planck Foundation is assessing the effects of its support to the Supreme Court during the last eight years.

The last step of this project is designed for the year 2015, with 316 participants being trained in Judicial Training Programme (“stage”). Max Planck Foundation will close this project after having concluded this last step of its long-standing support of the Afghan judiciary.

The project aims at educating a new generation of judges who are expected to peaceably and efficiently adjudicate conflicts in Afghan society in the future. At the same time, the project aims to train a select group of outstanding young judges, who would fulfil the role of qualified and experienced lecturers. This is being done with a view to building the capacity of the Supreme Court to independently continue the educational and training aspects of the programme with maximum autonomy.

Duration

1 January 2013–31 December 2015

Funding