Judge Walks Eight Days For Rule of Law Training

A judge from rural Afghanistan endures difficult travel to receive USAID training.
A judge from rural Afghanistan endures difficult travel to receive USAID training.
Since 2005, USAID has supported the Afghan Supreme Court in providing a four week Foundation Training for sitting judges who, because of years of war and insecurity, did not receive the required year-long Stage Judicial Training Program for new judges.  Nearly 800 sitting judges have completed the skills-training program. 
With little else other than a few changes of clothes, a judge from rural Afghanistan said he walked eight days from his isolated district in order to attend a judicial skills training program in Kabul organized by the USAID.  He is one of 33 judges from 12 provinces participating in the 22nd Foundation Training, a month long program held on the campus of the Kabul Polytechnic University.  
“As you can see, I am an old man,” says the judge, who walked 14 hours per day, sleeping in mosques and in homes of distant relatives and strangers. “Along the way, there were many problems. It was raining, there were no roads, and we had to cross mountains.”  A judge for 16 years in the same, isolated district court, the judge said he knew his journey was worth the effort: “I was thinking, the road is so difficult, it is so hard, but the training is so important that it is worth the problems.”
Has his training experience been worth the effort? “Even more than I thought,” he says. With course instruction in civil law and procedure, penal law and procedure, commercial law and procedure, Afghan constitutional law, the new Regulation of Judicial Conduct, legal research, and women’s issues, the judge says many of the questions he had coming to Kabul have been answered.
“No doubt, when I go back, I will try to implement the law in my district and make good decisions,” says the judge, smiling and putting away his glasses before looking up to add that he will have to walk another eight days home to do that.

Last updated: December 30, 2014

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