International Development Law Organization

Transforming Afghanistan’s Customary Courts

The weight of custom and the failings of the formal justice system mean most Afghans only access justice via informal dispute resolution mechanisms. With this in mind, IDLO has been assisting informal justice actors to perform their duties within basic legal standards and a human-rights positive framework.

We have provided members of shura and jirga assemblies, justice workers from NGO Co-operation for Peace and Unity (CPAU) and community court monitors from NGO Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) with legal training. Some trainers have become trainers themselves, replicating the courses at district level.

Specifically, we have supported and supervised the organization of a five-day Basic Legal Training Program for 230 people involved in informal justice mechanisms in the Surobi district of Kabul province and several districts of Kapisa.

The entirety of our engagement with Afghanistan’s informal justice sector has adhered to, and helped disseminate, international human rights standards and Afghan law. Local prominent figures as well as women benefited from the training.