Nangarhar Team

Landscape Description

Nangarhar is located in eastern region of the country. Its capital is the city of Jalalabad. Nangarhar province borders Kunar and Laghman provinces to the north; Kabul, Logar, and Paktia Provinces in the west; and has an international border with Pakistan in the east and south. The province covers an area of 7,616 Km2. More than half (54.8%) of the province is mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain, and 39.5% of the area is made up of the flat land. The province is divided into 21 districts. In 2009, Nangarhar had an approximate population of 1,333,500. There are 182,425 households in the province, and households, on average, have eight members. 87% of the population lives in the rural districts. The major ethnic groups living in Nangarhar are Pashtuns.

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 Nangarhar Team executed follow-on select legal seminars (i.e., juvenile justice). 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 were applying 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 Nangarhar Team mentored Afghan judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and CID officers. The JSSP Nangarhar Regional Team’s operational area included the provinces of Laghman, Kunar, Nangarhar, Nuristan and Parwan.

Impact/Accomplishments

Nangarhar 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, 190 prosecutors, 110 CID officers, and 28 defense attorneys in the Nangarhar region. JSSP trained some 42% of the legal and justice professionals in Nangarhar. JSSP trained actors from all judicial sectors in a substantial part of the region. Nuristan province was an exception, because this province was substantially held by anti-government forces and program execution was not possible due to lack of security.

As represented in the following example, JSSP efforts resulted in improvements to the Nangarhar justice system. A Jalalabad juvenile prosecutor and P/PCP graduate convicted a juvenile defendant of being a member of a terrorist organization. The police became suspicious of the juvenile after they encountered him and found that he did not possess a valid identification card and he was evasive when he was questioned about his identity and recent activities. The case was turned over to the juvenile prosecutor based upon the age of the defendant. The prosecutor questioned the defendant and he admitted to being a member of the Taliban and that he had recently received specialized training to help him fight against the government of Afghanistan. It was also discovered that the defendant was 17-years-old. Upon completion of the investigation, the juvenile prosecutor demanded prosecution under article 19(1) of the Law against Terrorism, which states that any person who is a member of a terrorist organization shall be sentenced to medium imprisonment. The court sentenced the juvenile to two years in prison and remanded him to a juvenile rehabilitation center. The prosecutor stated that prior to his JSSP training that he would have relied on the police reports rather than conducting his own interview of the defendant and investigation of the case. He credits the P/PCP Class with giving him independent investigation skills that he applied to the case.

Significant events

1. The introduction of a new culture that validates the importance of training was accepted by a range of legal and judicial officials.

2. Training on judicial and legal concepts, terminologies, and computers provided students with the skills to perform their duties and maintain accurate and organized records of their activities.

3. As a result of JSSP training and mentoring sessions, legal and judicial institutions differentiated legal matters that should be handled through the Afghan Justice System (not by “Jirgas”), and handled the cases according to Afghan law. They had not been fully aware of this process before participating in JSSP training.

4. As a result of Case Management System (CMS) training, legal and judicial officials were able to accurately manage criminal cases. This new process decreased the number of lost files that had previously resulted in prisoners being incarcerated beyond statutory time limits.

Challenges

1. Security issues

2. Corruption

3. Lack of staff, space, and equipment

Transition

In January 2013, the Nangarhar JSSP Regional Team completed its operations. Over the past six years, JSSP has greatly impacted the justice sector in Nangarhar and surrounding provinces and made significant contributions to increasing the capacity of justice professionals through training and mentoring. Moreover, the Nangarhar Team’s good relationships with many of the key chief law enforcement officials fostered a desire by senior officials to have their staff better trained. The chief prosecutor in Nangarhar and the chief appellate judge encouraged JSSP to conduct trainings at their facilities and frequented the graduation ceremonies, personally thanking JSSP for the seminars and encouraging graduates to continue learning. The chief judges of Laghman, Nuristan and many other law enforcement professionals in the area served by JSSP Nangarhar, echoed that same sentiment. Finally, many law enforcement officials are now more aware of and seek to protect the rights and welfare of women, indigents, mentally incapacitated and juveniles in the criminal justice system. JSSP operations in Nangarhar were handed over to IDLO on 31 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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