Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Amnesty International issues report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan, calls for military justice reform

Amnesty International yesterday released a major report titled Left in the Dark: Failures of Accountability for Civilian Casualties Caused by International Military Operations in Afghanistan. Click here for the full text and here for a press release. The report is critical of the "commander-driven" United States military justice system (75-76), cites the lack of independence of military judges and juries as a structural problem, and quotes Prof. Victor M. Hansen of the New England School of Law in Boston for the danger that commanders will stack military juries (79). Other concerns include a lack of transparency with respect to access to trial materials and the failure to involve Afghan witnesses in the process (id.). The report mentions the work of the Defense Legal Policy Board as well as the current effort of the Pentagon's Military Justice Review Group (80-81) and notes (at 81) that reforms undertaken in other countries "have not proven to harm military discipline or to undermine the effectiveness of military operations." Among other recommendations, it urges Congress to enact Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act and establish fixed terms of office for military trial and appellate judges (88).

Deutsche Welle has this report.

1 comment:

  1. Great summary in (DoD funded!) Stars & Stripes:



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