Kabul Law Students Compete in "Lawyers' Olympics"

By Hanley, Delinda | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 2004 | Go to article overview

Kabul Law Students Compete in "Lawyers' Olympics"


Hanley, Delinda, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


For the first time, law students from the University of Kabul in Afghanistan came to the United States to participate in the Philip C. Jessup Moot Court competition in Washington, DC, from March 28 through April 3. For the past 45 years top law schools have sent four-member teams to participate in mock trials before the International Court of Justice. The first Afghan students ever to take part in the contest were Hekmatullah, Nezamuddin, and Mohammad Haroon. At the last moment, fellow team member Mohammed Nader was not granted a U.S. visa, and, as a result, the team was heavily penalized because it only had three members. The Afghan team did, however, receive the most vociferous round of applause when its members were announced at the start of the competition, which attracted more than 520 law students from around the world. The Afghan competitors came in 74th out of 99 teams and earned the "Spirit of the Jessup Award."

This trip represents how far Afghanistan has come in its effort to reconstruct a judicial system that was in desperate need of repair. The physical infrastructure-the courthouses and legal office buildingss, legal training and education centers, the law enforcement building, and even the legal texts themselves-were mostly destroyed after decades of war and life under Taliban rule. …

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