Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How's that again?

The government has filed an objection to the stay of execution issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan with respect to death sentences already handed down or to be handed down by the country's new military courts. According to this report in The Express Tribune,
The government filed a petition on Tuesday, arguing that there is no reason for the apex court to stay executions of the convicts even before assessing the authority of military courts.
So let's try to wrap our heads around this, shall we? Since the Court hasn't ruled on the merits of the constitutional petition attacks on the new courts, the argument in favor of vacating the stay goes, no stay is warranted -- and the executions should proceed if the government in its sole discretion wishes to do so. And then what? "Tough luck" for those hanged as a result if, in the end, the Court sustains the challenges to the 21st Amendment and implementing legislation?

It is very frustrating to be a spectator during this controversy without access to the underlying legal documents. Perhaps some Global Military Justice Reform reader in Pakistan who has access to those documents can submit a comment and enlighten the rest of us on precisely what the government said in seeking to vacate the stay -- or, for that matter, what the government's specific response is to the challenges to the new military courts. Indeed, how about the text of the petitioners' challenges? (Real names only, please.)

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