Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bringing military justice into the modern age!

"It is not an overstatement to say that we are in the midst of a military justice revolution.

In any examination of military justice with an eye towards reform, there is the notion that the traditional military justice system no longer works well. This notion stems from the belief that this system needs a reformation in order to be in line with society’s broader understanding of what constitutes a fair system of justice. Minor modifications or a tweaking of the system is not sufficient.

To bring military justice into the modern age, many reformers have called for major overhauls and fundamental structural changes to the military justice system as a whole. These calls for reform have been particularly prevalent in countries with a common law tradition. In the past several years many countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have each undertaken significant reforms within their respective military justice systems.

If there is one overarching theme to these reforms, it is a clear trend towards “civilianizing military justice.” By that I mean reforming military justice so that it mirrors the civilian justice system in that particular country to a much greater degree. There are a number of influences driving this reform. The most important of these influences come from the human rights community and from those who believe that a division of authority is essential in order for any judicial system to be considered fair."

Victor Hansen, The Impact Of Military Justice Reforms On The Law Of Armed Conflicts: How To Avoid Unintended Consequences. Michigan State International Law Review, Vol 21:2 (2013) at 230.

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