Friday, September 20, 2019

Demoralizing the army

That seems to be a crime in Algeria, for which a civilian is currently being prosecuted in a military court, contrary to human rights standards. Amnesty International mentions the case here.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Court-Martial for Sudanese Militia

Musa Hilal and his followers' court-martial was postponed until Monday, September 23. Attorneys appointed by Hilal's family were prevented from entering the courtroom at the general command in Khartoum.  The attorneys are attempting to argue the court-martial of Hilal, the former Janjaweed militia leader, is improper because he was never a member of the Sudanese military. The attorneys have failed to get the Court of Appeal to rule the court-martial illegal, and have a petition pending at the Constitutional Court. On Sunday, protesters demanded Hilal's release, contending the court-martial can't continue after Omar al-Bashir's ouster. Jurisdictional questions aside, hopefully the Sudanese can avoid the inefficiency, and apparent lack of impartiality, other countries have encountered while trying non-military members in a military tribunal.

Trial of civilians by military tribunals.

Cameroun lawyer, Me ALice Nkom writesThe jurisdiction of the military tribunal explained to mychild” of the Tribune. In her article, KNom  explains to her child why in Cameroon military tribunal cannot try civilians. She notes: “Cameroon has ratified international agreements that exclude civilians from the jurisdiction of the military court” including “the Directives and Principles on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Aid in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, which state that "under no circumstances may military courts , try the civilians”

Nkom also makes the point that one can not talk about "military" justice, and apply it to civilians. She reminds the reader that military justice was instituted, only to repress the behaviors which the military consider reprehensible in their ranks. A civilian therefore can not commit a "military" offense because one of the constituent elements of the military offense is the military status which necessarily entails a military mentality. In closing she adds that military courts are very often located in military barracks, which by definition are closed to the public. The civil defendant therefore runs the risk that his rights will be violated without witnesses liable to denounce these violations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Coming soon, for your military justice bookshelf

From Carolina Academic Press:

Military Justice
Cases and Materials
Third Edition
by Eugene R. Fidell, Elizabeth L. Hillman, Joshua E. Kastenberg, Franklin D. Rosenblatt, Dwight H. Sullivan, Rachel E. VanLandingham

Forthcoming December 2019 • casebound

ISBN 978-1-5310-1647-0
e-ISBN 978-1-5310-1648-7
2019 Teacher's Manual forthcoming

Tags: Government/National Security Law, International Law, Military Law

There are already many articles and books about military justice, but the third edition of Military Justice: Cases and Materials is different. Rather than offering a staid recitation of military court rules and cases, this volume gives law professors a powerful tool to introduce students to military justice while also deepening their understanding of criminal law and procedure, comparative law, international law, and constitutional law. At a time of ongoing combat operations and high-profile courts-martial, students and professors now have a new framework through which to analyze and evaluate worldwide military justice.

This casebook facilitates a deep understanding of military justice, its underlying principles, and lessons provided by international norms and comparative analyses of foreign systems. The book’s examination of the U.S. court-martial system allows students to explore the role and operation of military justice and the principles of a democratic society. In an era of worldwide deployments, multi-national operations, and global as well as domestic terrorism, the book illuminates the interconnectedness of military justice systems through a far-ranging collection of judicial opinions, statutes, regulations, commentaries, and scholarship. While the materials presented draw heavily from the United States, most chapters also present materials from other jurisdictions to enhance students’ appreciation of both the American experience and the availability of alternative approaches to military discipline, accountability, and punishment.

The book begins with an overview of the nature of a military justice system and its component parts. Chapter 2 explores the central issue of the commander’s role in military justice while Chapter 3 addresses the related concept of summary discipline. Chapter 4 then assesses professional responsibility rules for military lawyers.

The next group of chapters examines the fundamental question of who may be tried by court-martial, the offenses that permissibly fall within a military justice system’s ambit, and unique military crimes. An analysis of how the obligations of military service might alter the protection of fundamental rights follows before the book turns to the military judges and jurors who comprise the court-martial, the rules of evidence military judges apply, and the punishments a court-martial may impose. The system’s review and appellate procedures are then analyzed, followed by a group of chapters assessing the special contexts in which military justice systems operate. First comes a broad appraisal of the challenges a military justice system faces during combat and peacekeeping operations, then a consideration of the role of military commissions, with a special emphasis on the post-9/11 military commission system the United States operates at Guantanamo Bay.

The book’s final chapter gives students a timely glimpse into the changes that lie ahead by focusing on the critical processes of legal reform and globalization.

Complimentary Copy Request

If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy [from CAP].

Tuesday, September 17, 2019