Counter-insurgency experts have come to see 'the rule of law' as embodying virtually all the attributes that must be fostered in a country to make it a stable and responsible part of the world community. The effectiveness of efforts by military and civilian agencies to cultivate the rule of law in Afghanistan is the focus of an international symposium at the University of New South Wales next week (3-4 September).

Catalysing the Rule of Law in Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities will feature a keynote address by Dr David Kilcullen, one of the world's top counter-insurgency experts.

It has been argued that initiatives designed to encourage the rule of law in Afghanistan have produced negligible progress. This is largely because they are directed toward institutional development of the justice sector, even as other elements of the international/ Afghan partnership create the conditions for warlords, corruption and the narco-economy to flourish.

Five panels of presenters will cover the political, psychosocial and legal contexts of the Afghan situation; the opium economy; Afghan government efforts; civil-military international interventions and support; and a more fine-grained look at the province of Kandahar, the heartland of the Taliban insurgency.

Speakers include:

The symposium is co-sponsored by UNSW's Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law and the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre for Excellence. For the full program go to the website.

What: International symposium - Catalysing the Rule of Law in AfghanistanWhen: 3-4 September, from 8.30am. Dr Kilcullen's address 3 September, 6.30pm Where: Law Theatre, Faculty of Law, UNSW Kensington campus

Media contact: Steve Offner | 02 9385 8107 |