Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thumbs down on military courts according to this commentator

A strong and perceptive dissent on military courts is registered here by Pakistani observer Ejaz Haider. Excerpt:
My objection to the creation of military courts was/is more fundamental and relates to creating ‘exception’. As I have noted previously, the act of creating an exception itself is a problematic proposition. While jurists like Carl Schmitt consider it the basic trait of the sovereign, many others, notably Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida, refer to an exception as a force that lies outside of law and is legal fiction. 
My intention here is not to go further into that debate but to simply flag the point that while extraordinary circumstances might force a state and society’s hand into using law to denote its own absence for a certain period of time, it is, nonetheless, problematic. 
In the case of military courts we are not just talking about creating an exception once by allowing the standard legal system to interpret law differently or ignore some of its finer points and settled axioms, but, by going outside that system, we are creating yet another exception.

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