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College Lawyer In A Land Of Few Laws

Publication Date: 
September 19, 2010
Source: 
The Chronicle Of Higher Education
Author: 
Eric Kelderman

Lecturer and co-director of the Rule of Law Program Erik Jensen is quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the intersection between custom and rule of law in Afghanistan. Eric Kelderman reports:

Some people might call a place with few laws and hardly any lawyers Paradise. R. Michael Smith calls it Afghanistan.

Mr. Smith is fresh off a nearly yearlong stint as general counsel of the American University of Afghanistan. Not only was this his first job in higher education, but his work as a legal adviser was in a country where civil laws and their applications are still evolving under a new government.

...

Another problem in Afghanistan is that court decisions, which are generally not published or studied, can hinge on an array of local practices by judges who are often poorly educated, says Erik G. Jensen, co-director of the Rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School and a senior adviser for governance and law at the Asia Foundation.