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Adela Law Initiative



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Adela Law Initiative

  1. 1. A Project of the Internet Bar Organization & Groupshot GROUPSHOT technology for informality
  3. 3. photo credit, CC license, Jan Chipchase -Inhospitable formal justice system -Lack of trust in formal government -Multiple legal systems in operation -Complex political, ethnic and religious dynamics JUSTICE ISSUES
  4. 4. OBJECTIVES • to encourage engagement, understanding, and participation in the development and promotion of a culture of law and dispute resolution amongst the Afghan population. • to foster an understanding that informal and formal legal bodies are not diametrically opposed. That old traditions and new can inform each other and collaborate for a safer, more law abiding, and thriving Afghanistan. • to put positive pressure on regional and local governance to improve the quality, relevance, and predictability of their rulings by providing them with a national audience and national relevance. • to aggregate valuable information that provides a legal educational and support system for both the public and decision makers while creating a database of valuable datasets about dispute resolution and the practice of law across Afghanistan's geographies, cultures, and demographics.
  6. 6. photo credit, CC license, Jan Chipchase INFORMATIONAL CONTEXT
  7. 7. photo credit, CC license, Jan Chipchase TECHNOLOGY CONTEXT
  8. 8. photo credit, CC license, Jan Chipchase SOCIAL CONTEXT
  10. 10. RADIO 2.0
  11. 11. photo credit, CC license, Jan Chipchase -User interface -Content and access -Anonymity -Language -Information architecture -Broadcast specifics TECH SPECS
  12. 12. AFGHAN PARTNERS & COLLABORATORS Todd Huffman, Jalalabad Emrys Schoemaker, iMedia Jawed Nader, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Afghanistan Land Authority with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock
  13. 13. AFGHAN PARTNERS, CONTINUED Saeeq Shajjan, Senior Advisor, Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission SAFA 89.7FM, Afghan Radio Afghan Independent Bar
  14. 14. INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS & COLLABORATORS Jin Ho Verdonschot of Tilburg University Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems Colin Rule, Director, Online Dispute Resolution at Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Editor's Notes

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  • Four main components:\n1. radio broadcast, \n2. public participation and interaction, \n3. data and reference collection, and \n4. curation of anecdotes and analysis of data\n\nAll running through a process we call the ALI System, an interactive technology system that encompasses traditional and modern communication functions and that recognizes the limitations and opportunities of the present state of Afghanistan to create a public understanding and demand for a functioning and consistent justice system.\n\n\n
  • Only 57% of the Afghan public express confidence in the public administration\n\nConfidence falls to 48% for the government justice system, which is consistent with the finding that the majority of respondents who had contact with the state courts in the last year encountered some level of corruption and that the majority of respondents think that state courts are corrupt and do not resolve cases promptly\n\nOnly 40 percent say their country has a system of rules and laws that reflects what most Afghans want.\n\nJudges and lawyers have minimal training and often base their work on their personal understanding of Islamic law and tribal codes without taking into account relevant Afghan laws.\n\nFifty-two percent said they prefer the Central Government, and 46% prefer their tribal elders to create and enforce rule of law. This indicates how split the population is between centralized and decentralized governance, also indicating that a lasting solution will probably need to incorporate both central government and tribal leaders, working together.\n
  • Co-evolution and mutual reinforcement of formal and customary justice\nEase the burden on scarce government resources by educating Afghans on their rights and alternative dispute mechanisms\nLegal education of both justice-sector employees and the public in general, on the complex interactions of different Afghan justice structures is crucial. \n\nThe Adela Law Initiative(ALI) uses a suite of integrated communication technologies to provide legal education to all Afghan stakeholders in the justice system, provide data collection for ROL researchers, and to provide legal aid to Afghans who lack other access to justice through traditional means. \n\nAli will operate independently of both formal and informal judicial processes, integrating all stakeholders in the justice sector into an interactive and dynamic, yet simple and easily adoptable system.\n
  • 6 constitutions since 1923\n Current constitution is extremely problematic because it aims to cater to four legal systems [Civil code, Sharia’a, International treaty obligations, tribal law]\n Multiple implementers of justice with overlapping mandates and suffering from political influence:\n Supreme Court\n Attorney General’s Office\n Ministry of Justice - administers the police force\n Ulema Council\n\n\nConstitution addresses two sets of laws, secular and religious(civil code and sharia/hanafi code) doesn’t address customary law (shuras, jirgas which is a huge force for dispute resolution in AFG) - leads to internal contradictions in the constitution\n\nSecular versus religious, urban versus rural (govt has tried to centralize justice administration). Supreme Court in theory responsible for administering all courts in AFG. So Kabul is supposed to administrate 300+ courts\n\nSupreme court is highly influenced by the executive branch, so allocation of funds and resources by the Court is extremely political. Rural courts that are not politically connected tend to get sidelined in budget and service allocation\n\nGender and non-muslim access to justice (according to civil law and international treaty obligations, all citizens should be treated equally). However, tribal and sharia law discriminate between religions and gender, thereby giving them inferior access to law. EG, female testimony equal to 1/2 of a male.\n\nThere are 364 district and 45 city courts on the primary court level. \n\n69 of the 364 district courts were reported not operational in July 2010 due to security concerns, resulting in understaffing. In many parts of the country, there are no district courts at all (i.e. they have not been built), which forces judges and judicial staff to travel long distances to perform their duties. This highlights the lack of access to courts (and therefore to justice) in rural and low-security areas.\n
  • Although Afghanistan’s constitution recognizes civil, sharia’a and international laws as governing, in practice, Afghans turn to many informal sources to provide them with justice and resolve their disputes.\n\nThe most frequently mentioned problems relate to:\nDisputes over land, followed by \nPublic infrastructure, including disputes related to lack of water and electricity and reconstruction of roads and bridges. \nSecurity problems\nProblems within or between social groups including tribal problems, and \nFamily problems were also topics of disputes.\nEconomic problems are also cited by a small number.\n\nWhy do Afghans Choose Informal?\nRespondents who contacted shura/jirga to resolve their problems were asked what\nmade them decide to take the dispute to this body instead of the State Court. One\nthird of respondents (35%) say this was because local shura/jirga are honest. Another\n15% say it is because of corruption in government courts and 10% say they\npreferred this mechanism because shura /jirga resolve disputes efficiently.\n\nInformal as more Effective:\nDispute resolution mechanisms that are strongly anchored in local communities are amongst the most effective in resolving disputes. The majority of respondents who submitted disputes to mullahs (72%) and local shura and jirga (63%) say their dispute has been resolved.\n(86%) of respondents agree that local jirga/shura are accessible.  Around three quarters agree that local jirga/shura are fair and trusted (73%) and more than two-thirds agree that they follow local norms and values (70%), are effective at delivering justice (69%) and resolve cases promptly (66%).\n\n
  • informational context\n-Afghans have become incredibly good at deducing facts by triangulating sources of info. \n-Platforms that combine many media versus traditional one to many media are natural fits for a culture in which dialogue and corroboration are part of news.\n-a desire for Afghan content and production and perspective\n-an opinionated, discursive culture, like many islamic cultures. People like to debate and discuss in public fora.\n-semi literate culture in which oral and visual communication remains incredibly important.\n-Again in 2010 the findings show that respondents prefer to get such information from\npersonal acquaintances rather than leadership figures within their community.\n-traditional means of information dissemination continue to remain important in Afghan society.\n\nThe popularity of both local and international radio stations as a source of local information has significantly increased between 2006 and 2010. Indeed twice as many respondents say they use local Afghan radio stations to get news about local events in 2010 (10%) as in 2008 (5%).\n\nThe great majority of respondents say they never use newspapers (81%), magazines\n(83%), the internet (98%) or SMS text messaging (74%) for info on local events.\n
  • -internet not a player, too hardware heavy and barrier to entry too high\n-tv is present, but electricity is not reliable and is often something watched in public for special occasions or shows.\n-approximately 60% cell phone penetration.\n-rural population depend on cell phones and are active and innovative users of them.\n-they are a flexible and convenient link between ancient culture and practices and new(hawala, or money exchange being one example).\n-cell phone culture in Afghanistan\n-multiple sim cards to save money\n-prevalent, important, flexible objects\n-ancient traditions already embedded in them (halawa)\n-at least 50% penetration\n-meshing well with existing communication (social networks, radio, ancient methods of exchange, etc)\n-people are already familiar with the culture of shortcodes\n-radio pervasive\n-Afghanistan’s radio 2.0 culture\n
  • -trust networks are local, familial, ethnic\n-huge youth demographic that is eager for change and eager to help create a positive and stable future Afghanistan\n-women have a limited voice, so anonymous platforms like this are a possibility for their experiences to be heard and to idea to be influential\n-there are many identities in Afghanistan, but the pan-Afghan one has been eroded by the Taliban, the war, and to some extent the rebuilding process.\n-this sense of national identity and stewardship is important and integral to the sustainable future of the nation.\n
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  • user interface\n-a user interface that allows you to search through a database via voice or number command\n-a user interface that allows for text, voice messaging and querying.\n-a user interface that allows for skipping forward/rewinding through content, to improve user experience \ncontent and access:\n-utilize the culture of short codes that is familiar in Afghanistan\n-location info, age, gender are requirement for participation\n-ability to poll, get feedback, if people register\nanonymity\n-develop techniques to empower individuals, while protecting their security and encouraging free speech\nlanguage\n-translation or two language model\n-keyword recognition for parsing data\ninformation architecture\n-flexible system that can be adapted in response to usage, needs, etc.\n-relevant for a number of parties. Different demographics plug in at different places. A self perpetuating system that creates value for an incredible diversity of people in Afghanistan.\nbroadcast specifics\n-empower local people to be content generators/commentators\n-storytelling as promotional campaign, effective way to talk about real issues in a third party way\n-youth and women encouraged to speak of fairness, their understanding, experience, and hopes\n-subscription to big cases, dramatize but get people involved in a plural political process\n-advertising from positive afghan brands\n\nAllow differing perspectives of law/rights to be heard to encourage debate\n Compete with radical views, don’t deny or try to block\nParticipatory- Voices are from within Afghanistan, not external, giving greater credibility/ownership\n
  • SAMPLE INFORMATION CYCLE:\n\n1. BROADCAST\nDramatization of a family returning from Pakistan after 15 years in exile.  Returns to find land inhabited by different tribe members.  A local shura is called to settle dispute and sides with current inhabitants.\nLegal experts weigh in: Constitution, Shari’a, Civil, Customary/Tribal\n\n\n2. PUBLIC\nQayum, an Afghan that recently returned from Pakistan and who is currently living in a refugee village, listens to the broadcast on a fellow refugee’s radio\nDiscussion and debate ensues\nQayum, wanting to learn more about his legal rights as well as the possibility of his story being discussed on air, calls into the ALI shortcode given at the end of the broadcast; he enters his age and location and is prompted to share his thoughts on the recent broadcast; Qayum is then asked where he attempted to solve his land dispute and what the results were.\nAfter finishing, ALI prompts Qayum w/ several options to educate himself: info on laws related to land disputes; where he can go for assistance; and about opportunities to receive legal updates\n\n\n3. DATASETS\nALI’s automated system categorizes demographic and anecdotal information about Qayum, and his interaction w/ ALI\n\n\n4. CURATION\nALI curators analyze statistics about recent show (e.g. demographics that were most/least responsive, specific topics of greatest interest to public, aspects of land law most in dispute, aspects of law most in agreement)\nALI curators listen to Qayum’s story and edit it, specifically as to why his story may possibly result in a different outcome from the previous broadcast\nQayum is contacted directly by ALI personnel that discuss his story with him and ask permission to air his story on air; Qayum agrees\n\n\n1. BROADCAST\nQayum’s land dispute is the basis for the next broadcast\n\n\n
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