Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Do new rules "make a mockery" of the Armed Forces Tribunal?

Major General (R) Harsha Kakar, writing for The Statesman, has offered this strongly critical review of new rules affecting India's Armed Forces Tribunal. Excerpt:
The new rules have reduced tenure of members from five to three years. It appears, when linked up with the other amendments, aimed at opening doors for ex-secretaries of the government, who retire at 62, to be nominated to the AFT, for which they would otherwise have been barred.

These amendments, which would alter the functioning of the AFT and make it useless for the task for which it was created, angered many veterans who practice in AFTs and they approached the Supreme Court. The court’s final determination is likely in July.

The bureaucracy, worried about a possible court rebuff, advertised for vacant posts based on its amended rules. It is now seeking the court’s permission to go ahead with the selection. If it succeeds, the AFTs would become just another example of the government’s apathy to serving and veteran military personnel.

A fallout of the case has been that unless court orders are finally issued, no fresh appointments can be made. Hence most AFTs are either non-functional or those with multiple benches have just one functional bench. This has impacted clearance of cases.

The sole reason for creating the AFT is now being lost. The government which has denied the forces various facilities is now seeking to make the AFTs redundant. It will require a concerted effort by all who support the military to pressurise the government against making a mockery of an institution created to speed up justice.

Military justice bureau proposed for Ukraine

Anatoliy Matios, Ukraine's chief military prosecutor, has called for creation of a State Bureau of Military Justice, according to this report.
“I persistently urge society and lawmakers to create (in analogy with the NABU) the State Bureau for Military Justice. In the warring Ukraine, the military prosecutor’s office must be authorized to fully monitor the observance and application of laws in all military formations. This right should be secured at least temporarily, for the period of the Joint Forces Operation and the law on the peculiarities of the state policy on securing Ukraine’s state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” he wrote.
The proposal will be considered at a conference next week:
Matios noted that the bill on the State Bureau for Military Justice would be presented to the public and experts in Kharkiv on May 29-30 during an international conference “Reforming Military Justice System in Ukraine: The Current State and Prospects.” An expert assessment of the document will be given by experts of military justice from more than ten countries who will take part in the event.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Algerian reform bill

A major bill to reform Algeria's military justice system has been introduced in the National People's Congress. Details here (en français--the English version is behind a paywall). Among the changes of interest: state security cases involving civilians will now be tried in the regular courts and the military justice system will be subject to oversight by the Supreme Court.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Are you a military prosecutor?

If so, you should check out the Network for Military Prosecutors, a project of the Hague-based International Association of Prosecutors. The website can be found at www.iap-association.org/NMP. From the site:

The responsibility for the prosecution of cases concerning military personnel varies across jurisdictions. In some countries, prosecuting offences committed by military personnel is left to the respective military Justice system whilst others choose to entrust the civilian Justice system with this important task.

The Network of Military Prosecutors seeks to embrace and provide a forum for discussions and exchange of experiences for prosecutors involved with military prosecutions, whether they are civilian or military.

Bruges, anyone?

The Belgian Group of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War and the Centre d'Etude de Droit Militaire et de Droit de la Guerre are sponsoring a conference titled Silent leges inter arma? on September 18-21, 2018 in Bruges. There is a sizable discount for members of the Society (and for early registration). For further information, click here.