Afghanistan Legal Education Project

Stanford Law School just launched the Afghanistan Legal Education Project (ALEP) Web site. Here you find the ALEP Blog, links, and full-text of publications, including “Introduction to the Law of Afghanistan” and “Introduction to Commercial Law of Afghanistan.” Additional resources are planned for the future.

Afghanistan Legal Education Project

http://www.afghanistanlegaleducation.com/

About  ALEP

Founded in 2007, the Afghanistan Legal Education Project (ALEP) at Stanford Law School is dedicated to developing innovative legal curricula to help Afghanistan’s universities train the next generation of lawyers and leaders.
Afghanistan’s legal sector requires urgent attention. While other institutions are transitioning more quickly, reconstruction of the legal system lags behind. At the heart of this problem is a dire shortage of qualified lawyers. Because the assistance of skilled practitioners is crucial to the efforts of the people of Afghanistan to reconstitute their justice system, training the attorneys that will guide the rebuilding of Afghanistan is of chief importance. The students of today in Afghanistan are also the leaders of today, and familiarity with the justice system is essential for them to work in government, business, and virtually any other field.
In 2007-08, ALEP developed an introductory textbook on the laws of Afghanistan based on Afghanistan’s 2004 Constitution and current legal codes. It was the first legal textbook specifically on the law of Afghanistan created in the last thirty years. Afghan and international law experts reviewed the textbook at a symposium hosted by Stanford University and during a trip by the ALEP team to Kabul in March 2008. The textbook is the foundation of the first Legal Studies class at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).
Already, over fifty students have taken the class, which was taught by Professor Mohammad Haroon Mutasem, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Kabul University and Lecturer in Law at AUAF. The introductory text will be available for free in Dari and Pashto by August 2009.
A common refrain among the students enrolled in the introductory law class was that they want still more offerings. To that end, in 2008-09, ALEP has continued to refine the introductory textbook and has drafted two new textbooks—one on commercial law and the other on criminal law. The textbooks will be taught in two new courses at AUAF in the fall and spring semesters 2009-2010, forming the core requirements of a certificate in law from AUAF.
In addition to writing textbooks, the ALEP team is in constant contact with rule of law experts in the region and at home in the United States. The project has forged a close alliance with the Afghanistan Legal Educators project at the University of Washington, of which Professor Mutasem is a graduate. In the future, ALEP will continue to write and develop textbooks and teaching materials for free distribution to AUAF and around Afghanistan

Free Textbook Movement Gains Steam

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article about the movement to make electronic versions of college textbooks free for students.

Read, “Don’t Buy That Textbook, Download it Free,” here.

Learning for Free: Open Access to College Texts

The Los Angeles Times has a nice piece on the open-source movement as it relates to online college text books.

“Free Digital Texts Begin to Challenge Costly College Textbooks in California,” discusses recent developments in allowing access to scholarly texts.

New International IP book: Teaching of Intellectual Property – Principles and Methods

The World Intellectual Property Organization and Cambridge University Press have recently published a handbook for professors to help develop international intellectual property law courses. There are chapters devoted to copyright, patent and trademarks, as well as content covering distance learning and skills training. The editors are all officials of WIPO; in fact Mr. Takagi is WIPO’s executive director.

Teaching of Intellectual Property: Principles and Methods.

Authors: Yo Takagi, Larry Allman & Mpazi A. Sinjela. 

ISBN 9780521716468 

WIPO, 2008

 http://www.wipo.int/ebookshop?cart_id=795588-43657301&lang=eng&cmd=display_pub&cat_id=1257

Description from the WIPO Web site:

Intellectual property (IP) comprises not only the valuable economic assets of private firms, but also the social and cultural assets of society. The potential impact of intellectual property assets is so great that it is likely to have a considerable effect on national and international economic development in the future. Despite this, the area of IP education is relatively new to many academic institutions, and principles and methods in teaching IP are still evolving. Against this backdrop, a number of internationally renowned professors and practitioners share their teaching techniques in their particular fields of expertise, including what they consider should be taught in terms of coursework. The result is a valuable handbook for teachers and those wishing to get up to speed on international IP issues.

Table of contents available at: http://assets.cambridge.org/97805217/16468/frontmatter/9780521716468_frontmatter.pdf

http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521716468