Assignment: Afghanistan

Parnall stands next to a portrait of Afghan hero Ahmed Shah Massoud

Parnall stands next to a portrait of Afghan hero Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of the United Islamic Front who fought against the Soviets and was assassinated in 2001.

Emeritus Professor Ted Parnall (’67) returned to Afghanistan for the sixth time last January and February.

This five-week trip was on assignment with the University of Washington School of Law Asian Law Center to conduct a program for Afghan law professors, students, and judges to increase their understanding of both English legal terminology and international legal norms.

Parnall’s course dealt with commercial contracts, in particular those covered by the Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG).

The Legal Education Support Program – Afghanistan (LESPA) aims to strengthen legal institutions in Afghanistan by offering higher education opportunities to law professors and professionals who will become legal educators in the future.

Parnall in front of the Jihad Memorial in Herat

Parnall in front of the Jihad Memorial in Herat. The memorial honors the 10 year struggle against the Soviets.

In addition to developing language and legal skills, the program has helped identify many Afghan law or sharia students and professors who have been admitted to U.S. law schools for graduate law studies. Since its inception several years ago, the program has been considered one of the more positive developments in the otherwise very difficult Afghan environment.

Parnall’s other five trips to Afghanistan took him from Kabul to Kunduz to Jelalabad to Mazar- i- Sharif. The assignments dealt with a variety of programs and participants ranging from officials in the Ministry of Justice to judges and law professors.

Next assignment: a return to Kosovo. Stay tuned!

October 18, 2013