What We Do
The Afghanistan Legal Education Project emerged in 2007 at Stanford Law School as a student-led initiative to produce legal textbooks and legal curriculum focused on Afghanistan’s current laws, with the aim of contributing to the effort to rebuild the country’s institutions. ALEP’s first initiative involved partnering with American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul to produce a legal textbook of secular laws, setting them out in systematic order and providing insight into the ways in which they interact with Islamic and customary laws.
ALEP has published four textbooks, which are among the first to specifically address Afghanistan’s post-2004 legal system: An Introduction to the Law of Afghanistan (3rd Edition), Commercial Law of Afghanistan, Criminal Law of Afghanistan (2nd Edition), and International
Law from an Afghan Perspective. Legal experts in Afghanistan and abroad rigorously vet all of ALEP’s textbooks before first publication. The ALEP team will soon publish its fifth and sixth textbooks, Constitutional Law of Afghanistan and Professional Responsibility, both of which will be available by Spring 2013. All of ALEP’s publications are available online for free use and distribution (click on the “Publications” link above). Most have already been translated into Dari and Pashto; all outstanding translations are forthcoming.
Based on ALEP’s past success, the U.S. Department of States awarded a $7.2 million dollar U.S. State Department grant, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL/State), to ALEP in 2012. The grant will enable ALEP to develop a full, five-year integrated Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree program at AUAF’s campus in Kabul, Afghanistan. The objective of the new, double-bachelors law degree is to train Afghan students to become professional lawyers who can provide much-needed legal representation services, help stabilize the rule of law, and become leaders who will train the next generation of Afghanistan’s legal professionals.
Why We Do It
The people of Afghanistan have established a democratic government through competitive elections. Afghanistan’s 2004 Constitution guarantees human rights and the free exercise of all religions, and provides women with equal protection under the law. Much work is still needed, however, to institutionalize the rule of law in Afghanistan.
ALEP students graduate with analytical skills and familiarity with Afghanistan’s legal system. Their problem-solving skills will carry through to their work in both the public and private sectors, enabling them to tackle Afghanistan’s most vexing problems. Moreover, ALEP hopes to create “informed consumers” of Afghan law who are not afraid to use the legal system for dispute resolution and further legitimize the role of courts in Afghanistan’s future.
Who We Are
A dedicated team of Stanford Law School students writes ALEP’s textbooks and runs the organization’s day to day operations. To learn more about the group, visit the “People” page of our website.
ALEP’s Advisors are Erik Jensen (Director of Stanford Law School’s Rule of Law Program and Professor of the Practice of Law) and Rule of Law Fellow, Megan Karsh.