Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Are Pakistan's military courts subject to judicial review?

Two justices of the Peshawar High Court may think they are, judging by the case described in this article in The Express Tribune. Excerpt:
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) suspended on Tuesday the execution of a death-row prisoner, who was sentenced to death by a military court for involvement in terrorism. 
A two-judge bench comprising of Justice Musarat Hilali and Justice Younis Thaheem suspended the sentence till September 8 and asked the ministry of interior, general officer commanding Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, IG prisons and home and tribal affairs department secretary to respond to the petition by filing writing comments. 
Haider Ali, 21, was given to the 24th Unit of Baloch Regiment in Swat on September 21, 2009 by a local jirga. He was then 14 years and eight months old and a 10th grade student at the Malakand Public High School, Swat. 
His hanging was suspended after his parents filed a petition in the PHC, challenging his death sentence.

The counsel argued the convict was juvenile at the time of arrest, and that neither the family was provided details of the trial nor the convict was given lawyer access.

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