PPP Afghan LL.M. Student Profiles The Reformer Mohammed Essa Karimi Place of Birth: Jaghori, Ghazni Province
Why did you study law? I grew up in a village where there were neither government institutions nor law enforcement agencies of any kind. Local elders and clergy resolved all disputes, and most of their decisions favored the more powerful party. I always thought about how these disputes could have been resolved more fairly. After moving to Pakistan when I was 16, I learned what it was like to live in a country with judicial institutions. I saw how laws, rather than guns and violence, governed disputes and crimes in modern societies, and when I returned to my home country in 2002, I was determined to study law and work on strengthening the rule of law. What is your legal experience? Since receiving my law degree from Kabul University Law School in 2006, I interned in the lower house of Afghanistan’s parliament,
Hofstra Law Report • spring 2012
and was a legal assistant at the United States Agency for International Development, where I worked to privatize stateowned enterprises in Kabul. More recently, as a legal consultant with the Afghanistan Justice Sector Support Program, I supported the Afghanistan Attorney General’s Office to expand its organization, work on policy development and design programs to educate legal professionals about the new Afghan Constitution, adopted in 2004, and Afghan laws. What will you do with your LL.M. degree? When I go back to Afghanistan, I will probably continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office, where I can help promote the rule of law, particularly the aspect of fair trial that many villages do not have. Reforming the system will take time, but I can do small things that can bring about big changes. Have you enjoyed any particular Hofstra Law classes, and why? I have enjoyed all my classes, but especially my legal research and writing class with Professor Juliana Campagna. The course has helped me understand the sources of law and how lawyers practice in the United States. I have also learned a great deal from my classmates in this course, who come from many different countries.
The Professor Abdul Samad Keramat Place of Birth: Khogyani, Nangarhar Province
What are your impressions of the U.S. legal system as a professor of Shariah law? Shariah law, the moral code and religious law of Islam, and common law are very different legal systems in principles and sources, though both are designed to lead communities and solve problems. I have gained a greater understanding of Shariah law by studying common law, which has also introduced me to legal areas that are not advanced in Afghanistan, such as tax regulation, business organization and employment law. What has been unique about your time at Hofstra Law? Professor Eric Lane invited me to prepare a presentation about Shariah law for his Constitutional Theory class. I was surprised that so many students and professors attended the presentation. And I appreciated that Professor Lane
HOFSTRA LAW REPORT, Hofstra Law’s magazine, is published once a year by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.