Native American Law Center

Special Projects


Throughout the world, many countries are struggling to maintain justice systems reflective of community values which also conform with human rights concerns, predictability in modern commercial dealings, and expectations of fairness. The Afghan Legal Educators Project at the Asian Law Center at the University of Washington School of Law has worked to strengthen legal education in Afghanistan by providing advanced legal education for Afghan law faculty and professionals. Over the last four years, the Native American Law Center’s Tribal Court Clinic has worked closely with eleven law professors and graduates from several Afghanistan law schools.

This project, a partnership with the UW Asian Law Center, enrolls both secular and Sharia law professors and other legal professionals as students in the Clinic and allows them to experience clinical teaching from both the student and faculty perspective. The Afghan faculty participating in the Clinic also receive a specialized tutorial from Assistant Clinic Director Molly Cohan in which they study clinical teaching methods, analyze the Afghan legal system, and develop strategies for the improvement of Afghan legal education. As part of the tutorial, the scholars also explore manners in which customary law may be incorporated into a system which also provides modern safeguards of due process and equal treatment. Many of the Afghan law faculty also attend the annual NALC training at the Navajo Nation. Participation in the trip is quite helpful to the Afghan scholars given the success of the Navajo Nation in incorporating traditional and customary law in a modern tribal justice system.

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