By Major Trevor McLeod, ANA Legal School Advisor
The Afghan National Army Legal School (ANA Legal School) was established in of February 2010 on the grounds of its temporary home at the Kabul Military Training Centre. The school graduated its first course in August 2010 and in the short two years since its inception, the ANA Legal School has moved well on its way to becoming and being recognized as the centre of excellence for legal training in the Afghan National Army. A move to a permanent facility at the Afghan National Defence University in Qargha-Kabul is currently planned for the spring of 2013. The move to the new facility will significantly enhance the Legal School’s capacity to train ANA students.
The School’s mission is to promote justice and the rule of law within the ANA. The Legal School is accomplishing its mission through the training of all ANA Legal Advisors, Judges, Prosecutors, Defence Counsel, Criminal Investigative Division Officers, and Legal Non-Commissioned Officers. It is also training ANA Commanders to perform their command staff duties in accordance with ANA military law and international law.
Since beginning its operations, the ANA Legal School has been assisted in their development by a team of dedicated legal professionals working under the auspices of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A) . The ANA Legal School Advisor Team works in support of the NTM-A stated mission goal of supporting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as it generates and sustains the Afghan National Security Forces, develops leaders, and establishes an enduring institutional capacity to enable accountable Afghan-led security.
The ANA Legal School curriculum development process has been a joint venture between the ANA Legal Officers assigned to the School and the advisor team. Adopting such a collaborative approach to curriculum development was deemed best given the nature of law and of legal philosophy. Additionally, obtaining ANA buy-in on the legal curriculum, as well as having the Afghans assume a sense of ownership for the end product, was considered essential to the ultimate success of the project. The curriculum development approach taken with the Legal School had the added benefits of ensuring legal accuracy, as well as creating from the foundation a Legal School Faculty that understands and appreciates core educational concepts.
The Afghan National Army Legal School and their colleagues on the Legal School Training Advisor Team have truly exemplified the NTM-A motto, “Shohna ba Shohna / Shoulder to Shoulder”
NTM-A is a coalition of 38 troop-contributing nations charged with assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country’s security by 2014. For more information about NTM-A, visit www.ntm-a.com.
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