December 17, 2008 Afghanistan's courts are too slow and corrupt to get the job done, many say. Those Afghans turn instead to local jirgas, or tribal councils, to solve legal disputes. Efforts are being made to fix the official system and teach residents their rights, but the impact has been negligible outside of major cities and provincial centers.
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December 16, 2008 Taliban judges are playing a larger role in Afghanistan, as the Western-structured legal system struggles to gain footing and authority. The Western-influenced system, just seven years old, is fraught with corruption and complexity, and lacks a strong judicial infrastructure.
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December 15, 2008 "The key to reporting in a war zone like Afghanistan is to be in control," says NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. But on a recent reporting trip in the Taliban-controlled region, Nelson had to relinquish that control to land an interview with an insurgent judge in the volatile Korengal Valley region.
December 15, 2008 Corruption and nepotism in the struggling Afghan justice system have fostered rampant bribery and insider dealing. One expert believes it might take a generation or more to fix what only began in 2001, after the ouster of the Taliban.
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December 12, 2008 Seven years after the West began rebuilding the country, experts say the court system is little more than a complicated maze fraught with graft. Afghan officials admit bribe-taking is rampant. Some say former warlords and strongmen exert undue influence on cases.
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