Strengthening Study Conditions

New Building for Legal Clinic at Kunduz University
A new building for the legal clinic at Kunduz University’s law faculty was inaugurated on 8th October during a handover ceremony. The head of Kunduz’ Directorate of Justice, representatives of the university and the ambassador of the Netherlands to Afghanistan attended the event. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s project for the promotion of the rule of law (RoL) supported the building’s construction on behalf of the Netherlands.

The legal clinic is an institution at Kunduz University’s law faculty that primarily provides an opportunity for the students to acquire practical experience with the Afghan legal system. So far, the legal clinic lacked proper offices to conduct lectures and moot courts as well as to provide legal aid. With the newly constructed and equipped building’s inauguration within the premises of Kunduz University, the students will now be able to work under better conditions.

At the opening ceremony, the ambassador of the Netherlands to Afghanistan, Mr Van Leeuwen, announced that the Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue supporting the rule of law in Kunduz province. Speaking to the students, he stated, “You are the future of this country. Advocacy is an important aspect for the future, and you can be the ones addressing it.”

The curricula of law students still mainly focuses on theory, although practical activities and learning experiences are crucial for a smooth transition into the job market after graduation.
Tackling this challenge, the RoL project is supporting so-called legal clinics, working closely with the law and sharia faculties at state universities in the Northern Provinces.

Legal clinics provide more practical experience through three pillars: firstly, internships for the students at various governmental and legal institutions to gain an insight into their every day’s work. Secondly, so-called Moot Courts, in which the students take over the role of judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers after carefully preparing a case and presenting it in a fictive play; and thirdly, by providing free legal aid to citizens in need, supported by lawyers.

One student, Ms Farzana, emphasised the legal clinic’s importance for the law faculty and said: “It is like a laboratory for us. We learn to apply our knowledge practically and can provide free legal advice to the people in need.”

Since the legal clinic started its programme in Kunduz in 2014, 275 students graduated and benefited from their learning experiences when looking for jobs in the legal system afterward. The Kingdom of the Netherlands has been supporting the RoL programme in Kunduz since 2011, focusing on strengthening access to justice for all citizen and the legal institutions.

The programme Promotion of the Rule of Law in Afghanistan (RoL) is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at ensuring that the Afghan state is based on the rule of law, has a properly functioning judicial system and provides legal security for all its citizens. To achieve this objective, the programme has been implementing various activities since 2013. For example, to support higher legal education in Afghanistan, RoL has provided more than 30,000 books to law and sharia faculties, organised more than 150 courses on legal topics for students and lecturers and awarded more than 60 students with scholarships.