Evan Berquist of the Corporate Practice Group co-authored the International Law for Afghanistan, 1st ed., in coordination with Stanford Law School's Afghanistan Legal Education Project (ALEP). This publication gives a detailed view of international law as it relates to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is undergoing a critical transition period. The Afghan people face the immense task of rebuilding a society and a country. This challenge, while daunting, is also an opportunity for the youth of Afghanistan to effect momentous and positive change as the future leaders of their country. To seize this opportunity, however, Afghanistan’s human resources must be revitalized and replenished urgently. The decades-long conflict in Afghanistan has devastated the country’s infrastructure and severely stunted the institutions that are central to educating and cultivating leaders. Consequently, the country faces a dire shortage of qualified lawyers. This shortage is felt ever more keenly during this time of transition, as the participation of skilled legal practitioners is crucial to rebuilding the Afghan republic.
From cross-border trade to membership in international organizations, to peace treaties, and to war, Afghanistan has benefited from and been regulated by international law. As an importer and exporter of goods, Afghanistan has signed commercial treaties and followed international norms that regulate the trade of goods across its borders and enable foreign investment. As a member of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Afghanistan has a voice and has voted on key measures that affect countries around the world. Through the creation of the state of Afghanistan, the country has benefited from peace-time treaties and norms that prohibit other countries from taking its land. And, Afghanistan has known more than its share of conflict and war. Yet even during these wars, international law has played an important role: it was used to validate the presence of international security forces on Afghan land, and it could lead to sanctions and trials for those who violated the Laws of War. As you can deduce from this list, international law is a vast field that touches many different aspects of our lives.
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