Friday, June 17, 2016

Big shift afoot in India

The Indian Army is moving towards the creation of permanent sites for its courts-martial. Excerpt:
The move comes soon after the submission of a report by a panel of experts who had been tasked by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to suggest reforms in the military litigation and topics associated with it. 
The panel, which comprised retired senior officers of the Army as well as experts in military law, had recommended that there was a need for identifying two to three stations in all commands of the three services — Army, Navy and Air Force — for creation of permanent courts martial rooms.
Will the future bring permanent courts (as well as permanent courtrooms)? There's lots of room for modernization of the Indian military justice system. For example:
Currently, courts martial are ad-hoc bodies/juries comprising members who are not legally or judicially trained but who sit in judgement over trials which are essentially criminal trials in nature. The courts martial may be assisted by a Judge Advocate who is not a direct part of the decision making process though, and whose role is only advisory.
Thanks to Global Military Justice Reform contributor Major (ret) Navdeep Singh (who served on the panel of experts) for this link.

1 comment:

  1. The question is whether the establishment of permanent Court locations enhance quality of justice delivery. Need to wait and watch. In the country, Courts of Sessions, spread across all districts including the remotest one have plenary jurisdiction including to award capital sentence, subject of course to confirmation by High Courts. Does this means that remoteness of location determine quality or is that comfort we are looking at or the convenience of the practicing lawyers. Again need to watch and see. One wonder how to answer the question of improving justice delivery both in quality and speed with an answer, Oh! now I have a permanent Court location with permanent Court rooms and rooms for parties... so the quality of justice is going to improve. Once again, will wait and see.


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