Twenty-five judges from Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Samangan, and Sari Pul provinces recently attended a judicial training program held in collaboration with the Afghanistan Supreme Court and USAID’s Afghanistan Rule of Law Stabilization Program — Formal Component. For many judges of the war-torn country, it was the first such training of its kind that they had ever attended.
The 14-day training session included theoretical and practical sessions on topics such as civil law and procedure, judicial ethics, and fair trial principles. At the end of the training, the participants left feeling that they could rely on the invaluable skills and knowledge learned during the sessions to handle cases, rather than basing decisions on informal information-gathering. One participant, Judge Zabihullah, commented that the training refreshed long-forgotten knowledge he had acquired during his academic tenure.
The impact of judicial training efforts by the Afghanistan Supreme Court and USAID continue to grow. According to judges that attended the training program, not only do they use skills and knowledge learned in the training in their daily work, but they also spread this newly acquired knowledge to their colleagues. In addition, the reputation of the training has prompted other judges to request and seek out similar USAID judicial training programs in their own regions. The Afghanistan Rule of Law Stabilization Program — Formal Component plans to replicate this highly successful program in the eastern province of Nangarhar.