Saturday, February 25, 2017

Retrofitted military jurisdiction

In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of Pakistani courts, consider this case. The Peshawar High Court has stayed the execution of Mohammad Yousaf and has ordered the case clubbed (consolidated) with other similar challenges. Mr. Yousaf was among those convicted and sentenced to death by a military court authorized to try civilians under the country's now-expired 21st Amendment. Okay, we get all that. But here's the interesting part. The 21st Amendment was enacted in January 2015, yet (according to Dawn) Mr. Yousaf has been in custody for over six years, meaning the offense(s) of which he was convicted must have been committed four or more years before military trials were even authorized for civilians. In other words, military jurisdiction was extended to his and similar cases ex post facto.

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