this analysis of the background of the Lebanese military court and current calls for its reform. Excerpt:
The military court is a hangover from the French Mandate. The last radical reshuffle took place in 1968 and was aimed at containing the mounting leftist and Palestinian movements in the country.
When it was last amended, the law met no opposition in the parliament.
“What do you expect from a law written by the mukhabarat [secret police/intelligence] and ratified by politicians? I think it tells the whole story,” Lokman Slim, founder of local NGO, UMAM, which tries to promote co-existence in Lebanon, told MEE.
There are no statistics on how many cases are handled by the military courts compared to their civilian counterparts. While it is assumed that the civilian courts handle significantly more cases due to its very nature, the dearth of data highlights the lack of transparency within the military judicial process.
While the public and the media are not technically banned from attending certain cases - such as those pertaining to civilians - they cannot physically get to the court because access to the military tribunal building is restricted. Furthermore, many of the military judges lack legal qualifications, being officers seconded to the tribunal from their regimental duties with no background in legal and judicial affairs.
The situation has led law firm Justicia to denounce the army for its “failure to comply with the conditions of a fair trial in terms of transparency [i.e. the rights of defense, explanation of the judgments and public trials], jurisdiction, independence, impartiality and equality among citizens".