Thursday, June 14, 2012
Afghanistan: New York Army National Guard member teaches refresher class on Afghan criminal law to local police officers
117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan - Kicking off the first class in a series of legal training, the leadership of the Afghan Uniformed Police Qalat Substation 1 participated in a refresher class in Afghan criminal law at the Provincial Meeting Center in Qalat City June 5.
The class was run by Army Maj. Maj. Roderick J. Cassidy, a member of the New York Army National Guard who is assigned to the judge advocate general office for the U.S. Army Stabilization and Transition Team, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Cassidy provided the basic principles and fundamentals of Afghan criminal law so the AUP leadership could educate their patrolmen and provide governance for the populace of Qalat City.
“The instruction helped to continue building a more professional police force,” said Cassidy. “By training the leadership level of the AUP, they will be better able to instruct their subordinates at the checkpoint and substation level.”
During the course Cassidy covered the primary sources of Afghan criminal law and how they interrelate, said Cassidy.
“I also addressed different theories behind punishment and the legal, material and mental elements of a crime,” said Cassidy, who has been practicing law for more than 22 years. “I provided specific, everyday illustrations of some of the more complex legal theories to assure everyone understood their application.”
During the class, the officers of the AUP paid strict attention to the instruction, Cassidy said, adding that teaching the Afghan police officers was a different experience.
“I have taught military, criminal and civil law in the United States and this was a unique experience,” said Cassidy. “In the U.S., students are often anxious to express their opinions and engage in classroom discussion. In Afghanistan, students often seem interested almost exclusively in what the instructor, as the subject matter expert, has to say during class. They want to absorb as much as possible in the time allotted and can share their personal opinions with each other later.”
At the end of the class the AUP leadership responded positively to the refresher training and actively participated with responses, said Capt. Matt Yarnall, U.S. Army Security Forces Assistance Team Qalat City commander, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
The AUP commented on how beneficial this refresher training was to them and how they learned a lot, said Yarnall. “They also agreed it is very important to know their laws, and they expressed how they are looking forward to more training in the near future,” he said.