Nevada Lawyer 7
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These aspects range from the most important of family/lineage (Khannawada or Khel), to village/region (Deh or Qarriya), to tribe (Qawmm), thento ethnicity/nation (Watam) and finally to the leastimportant aspect of self (Khood).
The legal/justice system in Afghanistan hasthree component parts: traditional (customary)law; Sharia law and state (formal) law. Customarylaw is currently applied as a means of disputeresolution and collective reconciliation throughan informal justice system. Sharia is the legalframework within which the current Afghan publicand private aspects of life are regulated: politics,economics, banking, business, contracts, family,sexuality, hygiene and social issues. The state lawis based upon the French Civil Code, via Egyptand Turkey.
Unlike in Iraq, Afghan ROL mission elementresponsibilities were originally divided betweennumerous foreign nations. As some of thosenations ran out of money, their ROL elementswere redistributed to other countries that wouldcontinue to fund them. The justice system(ROL) coordination was originally assumed byItaly. Its activities relied heavily upon trainingcourses and instituting a National Legal TrainingCenter. Originally, Canada provided trainingcourses; Germany provided judicial training; theNorwegian Refugee Council worked land disputesof displaced persons and returnees; the UnitedNations Development Program provided technicalexperience in ministries and construction; theUnited Nations Assistance Mission Afghanistanplayed the major development coordinating role;the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) supportedthe new narcotics court and vertical prosecutionof larger narcotic cases; multinational militaryJAG officers served as advisors to the Ministryof the Interior (MoI-police) and the Ministry of Defense (MoD-army), including judicial and anti-corruption areas; and the U.S. Office of SecurityCooperation-Afghanistan initially coordinatedpolice training. Other nations addressed various justice sector elements; e.g., defense counsels, barassociations and legal education.
While exercising compound familiarizationstrolls, I located secure Military (MoI-police)Primary Courts and observed them at both theMoI Kabul Headquarters and the MoI Compound.The jurisdiction of these Military Primary Courtsencompasses all criminal charges against Afghanpolice officers only. The narcotics court wasconstructed on a secure, guarded compound andwe observed both narcotics primary and appellatecourt trials. During both tours, it was observedthat some foreign ROL advisors/mentors did notunderstand the Afghan military court systemwhich, being soviet-based, meant jurisdiction overMoI-police (national, uniformed and border) andNational Directorate of Security personnel only. TheMoD/ANA (Afghan National Army) court system,with jurisdiction over all army personnel up to therank of colonel, was made separate by law. Thoughthe narcotics court has jurisdiction commencingwith larger weights of drugs (e.g., 2 kilos forheroin), the majority of their convictions, if not virtually all of them, are against couriers (mules)and not drug lords.Criminal trials were predominantly reviews of written reports, statements and investigation/labresults presented to a panel of two to three judges.These included defendant statements and little orno oral testimony was received, though defendantswere present and asked if they had any furtherstatements to render. Occasionally, I witnessedNorwegian and Danish defense lawyers advising/mentoring defense attorneys. In the provinces, Iobserved some trials conducted without saranwals(prosecutors) present and even a few with nodefense attorneys present. The official court file,