“I Want to Give the Law Back to the People”

Kimberly Motley (1)
Photo by Marc Beckmann

When Kimberley Motley went to Afghanistan in 2008 to train local lawyers, she had planned to go back to the United States after eight months. But she stayed. And became the first foreigner to litigate in Afghanistan: an outspoken, seemingly fearless woman of African-American and North Korean descent.

During those first months in Afghanistan, she had noticed a deep resentment of the people against the country’s formal legal system. Instead of consulting trained lawyers, people rather sought the guidance of religious leaders or village elders. These traditional methods were not only illegal but also lead to unjust and often cruel sentences. Her mission was born to “give the law back to the people.”

Kimberley opened her own practice in Kabul, representing foreigners who were being detained in Afghan prisons, but also started taking on Afghan human rights cases: among them child kidnapping, domestic abuse, and women accused of adultery.

Kimberley grew up in an area in Milwaukee which was infamous for its criminality.  Early on, she developed an interest in the law. Kimberley received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a Joint Degree from Marquette University Law School. She commutes mainly between Kabul and North Carolina where her husband and three children live.

Kimberley Motley was a participant at the BMW Foundation Global Table in Bogota in May 2017.

Comments

Latest Stories
Amalia Zepou AthensAmalia Zepou, Vice Mayor of Athens
Portrait

The Power of Communities to Lead Innovation

Occupy Wall StreetProtest
Opinion

How to Access Your Curiosity, Compassion, and Courage

3D printer still
Interview

How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Disaster Relief

Loading

By using this website you consent to the use of cookies. Please click here to learn more about the use of cookies on this website. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close