The Foundation and ALRDO host workshop on human rights for female judges in Herat

Female judges from Herat city and its environs took part in a five-day workshop on rights protection in Afghanistan

The safeguarding of fundamental rights took centre stage at the second workshop organised by the Max Planck Foundation and its Afghan partner organisation, the Afghanistan Legal Research Development Organisation (ALRDO), from 20 to 24 February 2021. Bringing together female judges from Herat city and its environs, the workshop built on the previous one in January 2021 with live lectures by senior Afghan legal experts and online talks by the Foundation’s research staff. Judges engaged in lively and critical discussion on constitutional rights adjudication in their daily practice in Afghan courts.

Over the course of five days, key issue areas in rights litigation were explored from domestic, regional and global perspectives, situating Afghan legal life in the broader international and comparative discourse on human rights. Individual talks traced the structural development of rights adjudication in shifting socio-political contexts and the specific applications of basic guarantees in modern legal practice. Further, the workshop explored a wide range of human rights such as the right to equality, freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial. Practical exercises and discussion questions on real-life challenges such as colliding rights and competing religious precepts enabled judges to engage in structured discussion, deliberating and reflecting on their practice. The International Psychological Organisation (IPSO) took part also in this workshop.

The Afghan Supreme Court kindly supported the proceedings with its own logistical and substantive contributions. The workshop is part of the ongoing project “The Afghan Woman Judges Association: empowerment through capacity building, partnership and advocacy” funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.