The Afghan authorities and the international community have worked together to rebuild the justice sector into something which now at least approximates to a system that conforms to international standards. This article argues that while the process has been fraught there have been tangible advances and some verifiable ways to measure this. Capacity-building support of the state system will require continuing external monitoring, to gauge its impact, and the state system also has an important role in monitoring the way in which customary law institutions dispense justice. This article concludes that, despite many set-backs and uncertainties, now is not the time for the international community to turn its back on justice sector reform in Afghanistan.
Over 100,000 un peacekeeping personnel are deployed on missions with authority from the Security Council, under Chapter vii of the un Charter, to use force to protect civilians. Nevertheless, they have repeatedly failed to do so and yet there does not appear to be a single case where the un has taken disciplinary action against senior staff for failing to act in line with a mission mandate in this regard. This article argues that the ´positive´ and ´negative´ obligations of international human rights law, protecting the right to life and physical integrity, provide the most appropriate guidance to the tactical use of force by un peacekeeping soldiers. Mechanisms also need to be created to improve the accountability of un missions to those that they are responsible for protecting.