Afghan legal professionals now have a reference dictionary in their own languages.
5 MAY 2009 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
A lack of legal reference materials has hampered the development of rule of law in Afghanistan. As legal terminology and practice evolved over the past few decades, Afghanistan’s lawyers and judges found themselves without proper dictionaries and legal texts in their own languages. To provide legal professionals with the resources they need to implement the law effectively, USAID, in partnership with Kabul University, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Justice, launched the first-ever Dari and Pashto legal glossary on February 16, 2009.
The glossary is the first of its kind in Afghanistan, and the only reference to include terms in both of the country’s national languages. It offers users a common understanding of terminology unique to Dari- and Pashto-speaking legal professionals, who have previously relied on dictionaries published in other countries, particularly Iran. The last glossary of legal terminology written in Afghanistan was published in 1972 and included only Dari and English references.
Dr. Hameed Ullah Amin, Chancellor of Kabul University, remarked at the launch ceremony that it is “a great achievement for the law faculty of Kabul University to have developed this glossary in both official languages of Afghanistan.” Abdul Eqrar Wasil, Dean of Kabul University Law and Political Science Faculty, praised the publication and said that it is of enormous value to the country’s legal community because they no longer have to refer to Farsi (Iranian), Arabic, or English legal dictionaries. Instead, they can reference the new glossary, which explains modern legal terms in an Afghan context, using the two national languages.
The 4,000-term glossary is currently being distributed to legal professionals from the Supreme Court, Ministry of Justice, Attorney General’s Office, courts, and law faculties throughout Afghanistan. Professor Nasrullah Stanekzai of Kabul University’s Law and Political Science Faculty praised the publication and said, “This glossary will go a long way toward easing problems caused by the confusion of legal terms in Dari and Pashto.”
Last updated: December 30, 2013