Defense Institute of International Legal Studies breaks new ground in Afghanistan: United States legal experts help develop code of military justice in Kabul.
"The objective of this mission was not to teach, but leave behind a bedrock document that would have positive ramifications far into the future," according to Captain Chris Martin, DIILS instructor. "We conducted two military justice working groups: one focusing on procedural aspects of the ACMJ; and the second focusing on punitive articles," he said. The punitive articles revisions were especially challenging, due to the Afghans' unfamiliarity with the translated excerpts of the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice provided to them months earlier. For the July-August session, the team began revising a translation of the old Soviet-era military justice code, and then added punitive articles as needed. According to Martin, this proved to be more acceptable to the Afghans, who had an inherent understanding of their former system. The DIILS team accomplished its primary mission by completing draft versions of the procedural and punitive sections of the ACMJ by their 10 August 2005 departure. During their next session, they hope to test this new system by conducting two to three weeks of judges' training and mock trials.
This training was one of a number of significant education events held with the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) and General Staff lawyers this year, and is part of a larger, on-going, security cooperation initiative requiring DIILS instruction throughout the year. Walter Munroe, DIILS academic director, expects the demand for DIILS training in Afghanistan to continue to grow. In May 2005, DIILS completed a legal seminar in Kabul involving more than fifty military and civilian Afghan leaders focusing on Fiscal, Procurement and Environmental Law. This two-day event, in coordination with the Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan (OMC-A), was designed to educate the Afghan legal staffs in the core competencies essential to their daily legal functions. During the next two days, the working group reviewed laws with senior Afghan leaders, including the Judge Advocate General and Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Afghan National Army.
According to Munroe, the Afghans asked for United States help with building support within the MoD for the draft of their national procurement law and its MoD supplement. DIILS, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is currently scheduled to deploy its mobile training teams to Kabul a few more times this year.
DIILS is a joint agency activity reporting directly to the Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The organization is a major part of the Expanded International Military Education and Training Program, using mobile education teams and resident courses to focus on legal topics relating to the rule of law. The working group reviewed laws with senior Afghan leaders, including the Judge Advocate General and Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Afghan National Army.
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|Title Annotation:||DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY--PARTNERS|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2005|
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