First Foreign Litigator in Afghanistan, 2014 TED Speaker
Affectionately nicknamed “911,” Kimberley Motley is the first and still only Westerner to practice law in Afghanistan’s courts. She is also currently working on cases in Uganda, Dubai, and the United States, and is expanding her commercial and human rights practice. She spends nine months of the year living in Afghanistan, defending foreigners to the country, Fortune 500 companies, embassies and ambassadors, and women and children in human rights cases, which have involved everything from accusations of drug trafficking, battery, and murder. This former beauty queen, crowned Miss Wisconsin in 2004, has independently won freedom for countless victims, such as a six-year-old child bride, a 15-year-old girl raped and imprisoned, and a British ex-soldier accused of bribery. Motley is a registered attorney for more than 20 embassies, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany, as well as an attorney for the French, Italian, U.A.E., and U.K. embassies and ambassadors.
The Rule of Law: How One Attorney is Building a Global Human Rights Community
“The laws are ours,” says Kimberley Motley. “No matter what your ethnicity, nationality, gender, race—they belong to us.” In this powerful talk, Motley shares stories from her law practice in Afghanistan, and the way her work is impacting global human rights. In countries where much of the law is unwritten, where judges are unable to read or write, and where church and state are still deeply intertwined, the legal system is a complicated and murky one. But if we take the time to read and understand the law, we can often find the solutions we’re looking for—and we can make an impact. “We can all be contributors to a global human rights economy,” says Motley. “We can create a culture of transparency and accountability to the laws, and make governments more accountable to us as we are to them.”
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