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Politics, multiculturalism and corruption considered

Jose Hernandez
Staff Writer

Military, government, academia high-ranking officials and policymakers united for the common interest of law in post-conflict states – in this instance, Afghanistan.

The panel discussion, “Constitutions, Multicultural Democracies and Citizenship,” took place last Friday morning at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, featuring four speakers each touching on different aspects of the rebuilding of Afghanistan and issues that need to be addressed to ensure success.

“That’s why we are here – to build protocols that prevent these mistakes from happening. This is a complex problem and I envision this dialogue to help continue this long-term process,” said Allen K. Easley, dean of the College of Law.

The panel was just one of many events that formed the “Afghanistan and State Building” symposium organized by the University of La Verne College of Law and various other organizations.

Panelist Juan Botero, who represented the World Justice Project, started off the panel by explaining the indexing of countries. Indexing entails surveying various areas of politics regarding a country, including analyzing of power, corruption, order and security and effective criminal justice.

“We are trying to measure the system,” Botero said.

Raaj Narayan, a student at Stanford University Law School, continued the panel by highlighting the changes being made by other law students to help build Afghanistan’s state.

As part of the Afghan Legal Educators Project, Narayan along with other law students are working to improve the education of legal matters in Afghanistan schools.

These students are assuring that material is presented well in the academic environment, and that the importance of law is penetrated in all fields so that a core democracy can effectively be institutionalized in this post-conflict state.

“Reform is being done pro-bono as law students. We can only be successful if we are able to adapt and address issues in this sector,” Narayan said.

Senior Rule of Law Adviser for the United States Institute of Peace John Dempsey is also working to broaden the prospects for Afghanistan improvement. As multicultural as Afghanistan is, there are issues with representation of all the different tribes found in the state, Dempsey said. Issues will be created with the constitution’s implementation.

“It’s going to take some time to figure out and it will be a long process,” Dempsey said.

Further elaborating on the reform needed in Afghanistan’s state building process was Cesare Pinelli, professor of regional and constitutional law at University of Rome La Sapienza.

Pinelli brought to the forefront the importance of constitutional amendments and its power in a state that operates under a constitution, which is currently flawed in Afghanistan.

“That needs to be changed to eliminate flaw,” Pinelli said.

The panel was presented for roughly 30 people and was one of many panels offered throughout the symposium.

The experts on the panel made the clear suggestion that some mistakes were made and were in need of resolution.

The symposium aimed to think of ways to decrease those discrepancies.

“I think this is the biggest event the College of Law has ever held. I think it has high significance. We are spending billions of dollars helping post-conflict states not to fail,” Easley said.

Jose Hernandez can be reached at

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