Herat Team

Landscape Description

Herat lies in the western region of the country. Its primary city and administrative capital is also named Herat. Herat province borders with Iran and Turkmenistan. It has internal borders with Badghis province in the north, Ghor province in the east, and Farah province in the south. The province covers an area of 63,097 square kilometers. More than one-third (39%) of the province is mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain, and 53% of the area is made up of flat land. The province is divided into 16 districts. In 2008, Herat had an approximate population of 1,642,700. There are 226,650 households in the province, and households, on average, have six members. Around three-quarters (77%) of the population live in rural districts.

Program Summary/Description

Starting in 2007, JSSP provided training and advisory services to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Afghan National Police (ANP) and prosecutors working with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO). From 2007-2010, JSSP executed both the longer “Police-Prosecutor Cooperation Program” and the shorter “Focused District Development – L” program for detectives and prosecutors. In 2010, JSSP-R expanded its program of instruction to include criminal defense attorneys and judges handling criminal matters. In 2011, JSSP developed a comprehensive two-month legal training program titled “Focused District Development - Law” targeting all judicial actors. The program taught basic legal knowledge and practical skills. In 2011, JSSP renamed this course “Advanced Continuing Legal Education for Afghanistan” (ACLEA). In addition, the Herat Team executed follow-on select legal seminars (i.e., juvenile rights). All courses helped trainees perform their duties in a more competent, effective, and efficient manner. In addition, many of the trainees learned how to teach in JSSP’s Training of Trainers (TOT) program. TOT graduates are capable of teaching fellow co-workers within their departments. As part of its comprehensive Rule of Law efforts, JSSP staff provided follow-on mentoring to ensure that trainees could and did apply the knowledge they gained in class.

Program Components

JSSP designed, developed and implemented a robust curriculum that included a Police/Prosecutor Coordination Program (P/PCP) which was a seven-month, eight-module program consisting of four instructional modules and four mentoring modules, standardized lesson plans, instructional materials, and instructional activities. The Focused District Development Law Program (FDD-L) was a one month basic legal knowledge course. The Focused District Development - Law Program (FDD-Law) and the Advanced Continuing Legal Education Program (ACLEA) provided a structured 240-hour training designed to teach basic legal knowledge and practical skills. The Herat Team mentored Afghan judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and CID officers. The JSSP Herat Team’s operational area included the provinces of Badghis, Ghowr/Ghor, Farah, and Herat.


Herat training statistics for JSSP core classes: (PPC/P, FDD-L, FDD-Law, ACLEA) as of January 2013, when JSSP transferred the program to the International Development Law Organization:

Despite many challenges, JSSP succeeded in training 45 judges, 175 prosecutors, 149 CID officers and 130 defense attorneys in the Herat region. Most of that training occurred in Herat City. JSSP trained some 56% of the legal and justice professionals in Herat.

As represented in the following example, JSSP efforts resulted in improvements to the Herat justice system: A primary court judge who was a recent ACLEA graduate had three defendants come before him on beating and laceration and theft charges. The three defendants were caught driving a stolen taxi after they had beaten, stabbed and tied up the driver. When the men came before the court, the judge used knowledge developed in JSSP training to make sure that the defendants knew of their right to remain silent and right to an attorney. He also made sure that they understood the defense statement that their families had obtained for them.

Significant events

1. Criminal Investigation Division (CID) officers and two Counter-Narcotics officers who were ToT graduates became expert trainers and began teaching the core JSSP legal curriculum (FDD-Law) to fellow police and prosecutors.

2. The Chief Judge informed the JSSP Herat Team that previous to training, judges followed the law 50% of the time, but now follow the law 90% of the time.

3. The Herat Provincial Deputy Chief of Police, who is a former JSSP student, refused a bribe of $120,000 to release a suspect. Rather than accepting the bribe, the senior officer had the briber arrested.

4. Coordination and communication was established among different levels of judicial staff during ACLEA classes. The classes provided an opportunity for students to share their problems and ideas with each other.


1. Corruption

2. Lack of equipment, staff, and space

3. Challenges with recruiting, follow-up and capacity-building mentoring due to changes in the provinces


In January 2013, the Herat JSSP Regional Team completed its operations. Over the past six years, JSSP has greatly impacted the justice sector in Herat and surrounding provinces and made significant contributions to increasing the capacity of justice professionals through training and mentoring. JSSP regional operations in Herat were handed over to IDLO on 22 January 2013.

A Primer for Practitioners

Tool to practical introduction to rule of law development in Afghanistan, cross-referencing training and educational support material.

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