Good laws are one thing; implementation is another. Texts and statutes are critical instruments in advancing the rule of law -- but their benefits are limited if those tasked with their application, let alone their intended beneficiaries, fail to understand them. Where a gap develops between the law and what the legal profession makes of it, abuse and injustice will thrive. In a country like Afghanistan, with little historic experience of formal law, the risk is that much greater. And women will be the first to suffer.
To help further understanding of Afghan law among Afghan practitioners, IDLO's Supporting Justice in Afghanistan (SAJA) program has launched a series of training sessions on the new Criminal Procedure Code. Attending the first of these sessions in Kabul, over the space of four days, were prosecutors with the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) units, lawyers for women's shelters, and staff of the Directorate of Women's Affairs. Exploiting synergies with sister program JTTP, the training used the same curriculum, adapting it to lay the emphasis on the prosecution of gender crimes.
Similar capacity building sessions were scheduled to take place in other key Afghan provinces.