Tampa Army Reservist Helps with Afghanistan Rule of Law

The following article was written by Mark Doran and made available via DVIDS. It features a Tampa attorney who is currently serving in Afghanistan.

uruzgan_captTARIN KOT, Afghanistan – Afghanistan with its mosaic of ethnicities hidden within a rugged landscape requires the firm establishment of the rule of law.

Reserve U.S. Army Judge Advocate Capt. Jeffrey C. Blumenauer, deployed as a rule of Law attorney with the 3rd Infantry Division, Regional Command South.

He is assigned to Combined Team Uruzgan.

At home, in Tampa, Fla., he runs his own private law practice, but in Afghanistan he is responsible for planning, coordinating and ensuring the execution of rule of law in Uruzgan.

The legal system of Afghanistan has developed over centuries and consists of Islamic, statutory and customary rules and since the fall of the Taliban, the legal system continues to evolve with the development of the Afghan state.

Capt. Blumenauer says rule of law is a dynamic concept within itself, but is basically an appropriate and legitimate system of justice.

“I execute rule of law initiatives to facilitate the adequate functioning of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s (GIRoA) customary and formal justice systems within the province to help the people of Uruzgan have adequate recourse to appropriate dispute resolution alternatives and proper access to the courts,” he said. “Though not perfect, the justice system in Uruzgan is functioning, and a measure of formal justice is accessible to most of the population.

“Criminals and insurgents are being arrested, based on evidence collected at the scene of a crime, and being taken to trial with convictions being obtained. There is still a lot of work to do, but the independent capability of the Afghan formal justice system in Uruzgan is promising.” Continue reading

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