Kunduz Team

Landscape Description

Kunduz is located in the northern region of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kunduz City. Kunduz province borders on its north with Tajikistan. The province also borders with Baghlan province to its south, Takhar province to its east, Balkh province to its west, and Samangan province to its southwest. The province covers an area of 7,827 square kilometers. More than three-quarters (78.8%) of the area is made up of flat land, while about 12% is mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain. The province is divided into seven districts. In 2008, Kunduz had an approximate population of 882,900. There are 86,756 households in the province, and households, on average, have six members. Approximately 69% of the population lives in rural districts. The major ethnic groups are Pashtun and Tajik, followed by Uzbek, Hazaras, and Turkmen.

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 2008-2010, 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 Kunduz 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 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 Kunduz Team mentored Afghan judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and CID officers. The JSSP Kunduz Regional Team’s operational area included the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar.


Kunduz 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 57 judges, 140 prosecutors, 122 CID officers, and 50 defense attorneys in the Kunduz region. JSSP trained some 40% of the legal and justice professionals in Kunduz.

As represented in the following example, JSSP efforts resulted in improvements to the Kunduz justice system: A CID Officer questioned the logic behind a kidnapping accusation against the defendant. The officer discovered that the defendant’s sister was in a physically-abusive marital relationship and that she voluntarily went to Helmand with her daughter and the defendant to flee from her husband’s physical abuse. The officer concluded that the defendant should not be charged with kidnapping and announced his intention to notify the local Helmand authorities and the Kunduz Prosecutor’s Office about the case.

Significant events

1. Police commanders and provincial chief prosecutors sent students for JSSP training and attended the opening ceremony, demonstrating institutional support for the program.

2. Evidence kits were provided to mentees for use in police/prosecutor investigations.

3. Female candidates working in Kunduz, Baghlan, and Takhar provinces were identified for future course recruiting efforts.

4. As a result of JSSP training, justice actors developed a close relationship and communication and coordination issues were addressed. For instance, police officers and prosecutors jointly responded to, evaluated, and processed crime scenes. This kind of cooperation between police and prosecutors did not take place prior to the delivery of training.

5. Justice actors learned the importance of analyzing DNA evidence.


1. Security Issues

2. Human rights violations and culture of impunity: evidence in the JSSP qualitative study data identified power abuse and corruption within the legal system in some cases

3. Inadequate salaries

4. Lack of equipment, staff, and space


In January 2013, the Kunduz JSSP Regional Team completed its operations. Over the past several years, JSSP greatly impacted the justice sector in Kunduz and surrounding provinces and made significant contributions to increasing the capacity of justice professionals through training and mentoring. JSSP operations were handed over to IDLO on 5 February 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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