[JURIST] International participants promised more than $360 million in aid to help build up Afghanistan's ailing judicial system at a conference of UN members and Afghan leaders that concluded in Rome Tuesday. Despite the pledge, judiciary problems were overshadowed by concerns over civilian casualties caused by NATO troops in the region [ISAF official website] operating against Taliban guerrillas. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer [official profile] stressed the difference between accidental civilian deaths and the purposeful terrorist actions of the Taliban and other extremists. According to the Afghan government, more than 45 civilians were killed over the weekend in a bombing led by UN forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
The pledged funds will be used to train judges and rebuild prisons and other facilities vital to Afghanistan's judicial infrastructure. Conference leaders did not release the amounts pledged by the participant nations, but Canada's CTV reported that Canada has committed to $30 million [CTV report]. AP has more.