Paktia Team

Landscape Description

Paktia is located in the southeastern part of Afghanistan. Gardez is the provincial capital of this province. Paktia province has borders with Logar province in the north, Ghazni province in the west, Paktika province and Khost province in the south, and Pakistan to the east. The province covers an area of 6,259 square kilometers. Around two-quarters of the province (65.1%) is mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain, and 32.3% of the area is made up of flat lands. The province is divided to 11 districts. In 2008, Paktia had an approximate population of 490,900. There are approximately 71,317 households in the province and households on average have eight members. Almost all (96%) of the population lives in rural districts and Pashtu is spoken by 97% of the population.

Program Summary/Description

Starting in 2008, 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). The “Focused District Development – L” program was initially offered 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 Paktia Team executed follow-on select legal seminars (i.e., counter narcotics). All courses helped trainees perform their duties in a more competent, effective, and efficient manner. In addition, several 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 L Program (FDD-L) was a one month basic legal knowledge course. The Focused District Development - Law Program (FDD-Law), renamed the Advanced Continuing Legal Education Program for Afghanistan (ACLEA), provided a structured 240-hour training designed to teach basic legal knowledge and practical skills. The Paktia Team mentored Afghan judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and CID officers. The JSSP Paktia Team’s operational area included the provinces of Ghazni, Logar, Paktia and Paktika. Along with the Kabul Regional Team, the Paktia Team drew additional students from Khost and Wardak.


Paktia training statistics for JSSP core classes: (P/PCP, 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 41 judges, 47 prosecutors, 51 CID officers, and 16 defense attorneys in the Paktia region. JSSP trained some 30% of the legal and justice professionals in Paktia. JSSP trained actors from all judicial sectors in a substantial part of the region

As represented in the following example, JSSP efforts resulted in improvements to the Paktia region justice system: A second lieutenant in the Counter Narcotics Police, who was an FDD-Law graduate, at Paktia Police HQ noted a case involving possession of alcohol. The officer obtained an order from the court which authorized a search of a residence where alcohol was believed to be stored. Working together with the prosecutor’s office, a search of the residence revealed four half-liter bottles of alcohol, and the suspect was arrested and referred to the prosecutor’s office for prosecution. The trainee pointed out that his FDD-Law training had been particularly helpful in allowing him to locate the proper articles of law in the code so that his reports could properly identify the crimes which were described in the reports. He also related that the FDD-Law training helped him focus on the particular elements that each of his reports needed to include. He complimented the FDD-Law training as having been a unique learning experience and unlike any training he received before, and noted that he was able to take away many benefits from the course despite being an experienced officer. He also noted the trainings had improved the efficiency and professional performance of his office.

Significant events

1. Numerous planning meetings were held to assess and identify local justice institutions’ needs and requirements, and to build relationships with them. The meetings helped the JSSP Paktia Team to incorporate institutional needs into the training and mentoring curriculum.

2. Analysis of JSSP qualitative data illustrated that training had been effective in assisting police, prosecutors, judges, and defense lawyers to fulfill their roles more efficiently.

3. JSSP provided mentoring on crime scene investigation, case-filing skills for swift processing of criminal cases, corroborating evidence, trial advocacy, using critical thinking, human rights, prohibitions against torture, etc. Local institutions, in particular defense lawyers, reported that the mentoring sessions helped them to apply law correctly and defend the rights of suspects, for example, by writing strong defense statements.

4. The local justice institutions appreciated JSSP activities and many said they wanted it to continue.


1. Security issues

2. Corruption

3. Discrepancies between the formal and informal legal system

4. Lack of equipment, staff, space


The Paktia JSSP Regional Team ceased operations in December 2012 as part of the transition of regional legal training responsibilities to IDLO. Over the past several years, JSSP impacted the justice sector in Paktia and surrounding provinces and made significant contributions to increasing the capacity of justice professionals through training and mentoring. Moreover, the Paktia Team’s good relationships with many of the key chief law enforcement officials fostered a desire by the officials to have their staff better trained.


US Military Rule of Law Field Force – Afghanistan (ROLFF-A), NATO Military Rule of Law Field Support Mission (NROLFSM) and Regional/Platform and district level Rule of Law advisors from the US Department of State and its implementers (i.e., USAID).

A Primer for Practitioners

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

Latest Report

Women's Access to Justice in Afghanistan: Since the fall of the Taliban in 2002, gains in women’s rights and access to justice in Afghanistan have been remarkable, yet women’s rights remain extremely limited.