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    TAAC-E adviser mentors Afghan security forces on Rule of Law

    TAAC-E adviser mentors Afghan security forces on Rule of Law

    Photo By Sean Dath | Capt. Michael Levin, rule of law adviser for the Police Advisory Team assigned to...... read more read more



    Story by Sean Dath 

    Resolute Support Headquarters

    NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The train, advise and assist mission under NATO’s Resolute Support focuses on eight key areas called "essential functions" that are crucial to the continued development of Afghan security forces.

    Rule of Law and Governance is essential function three, and promotes civilian governance of the security forces in an effort to maintain an effective and transparent criminal and disciplinary system.

    Capt. Michael Levin, Rule of Law adviser for the Police Advisory Team at Operational Base Fenty, conducts key leader engagements with Afghan police detectives, prosecutors and judges in eastern Afghanistan to provide guidance on how to work within the rules of their system.

    “During our KLE’s we will teach them specific techniques like showing the police how to properly handle evidence,” said Levin. “Our main goal is to get our counterparts to operate within the confines of their laws.”

    According to Levin, having their Afghan colleagues demonstrate their knowledge of the law will go a long way towards strengthening the rule of law and building a sense of trust in the system with the citizens of Afghanistan.

    “One of the areas we work on is building competency and then taking that competency and putting it out there in accordance with their laws,” Levin said. When the Afghan people see that the law is being adhered to, it gives them confidence in the justice system.”

    Since his arrival in Afghanistan in January, Levin and his team have observed some improvements with their counterparts’ ability to follow the rule of law. One important success has been the Afghan law enforcement officials’ ability to use search warrants in accordance with the new Afghan Criminal Procedure Code, which was issued in 2014.

    “We’ve worked with the agents as well as the prosecutors to emphasize the importance of using these warrants as their Criminal Procedure Code mandates,” said Levin. “So as long as they are enforcing their laws and adhering to their rules, that is a big accomplishment.”

    Levin also highlighted the effectiveness of the training they have provided to the Afghan police.

    “On the police side we have had some big achievements with training. To see them grasp what we are teaching and then apply it out in the field is also a huge accomplishment.”

    While Levin has seen successes, some challenges remain. A main effort for Levin and his Afghan counterparts is tackling corruption within the Afghan judicial system.

    “If we can get them to enforce the law equally no matter who the suspect is, whether it is a senior elected official or an Afghan farmer, if they apply the law fairly and equally across the board, I think it will foster and facilitate confidence in the system,” Levin said.

    As a JAG officer, Levin enjoys helping the Afghans work towards the betterment of their country. He hopes he can one day return to Afghanistan to see the system standing on its own and witness the culmination of the PAT team’s efforts.

    “Our goal is to leave behind a sustainable Afghan criminal justice system that functions in accordance with Afghan law,” Levin said. “To be able to help them with their country is a mission I’ve really enjoyed a lot and 20 years from now I would be thrilled to come here as a civilian and know that the law is adhered to and enforced, that there is peace here. That would be very gratifying.”



    Date Taken: 05.28.2015
    Date Posted: 05.28.2015 11:31
    Story ID: 164779
    Hometown: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US
    Hometown: FORT CAMPBELL, TN, US

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