Saturday, January 23, 2016

Military courts and deterrence

Pakistan has had military courts authorized to try civilians for a year now. The Express Tribune reports:
Senior lawyer Salim Shah Hoti on Saturday said that ‘facilitators’ found aiding terrorists in terror attacks, are liable to be punished with the death penalty according to the law of the land. He added that those arrested by security forces for their involvement in the Bacha Khan University carnage will be dealt with accordingly. The interior ministry, he said, would send their cases to military courts for trial as the same law was applicable to them. He stated that military courts were set up after the passage of the 21st Amendment in January 2015 to adjudicate upon terror-related cases. PM Nawaz [Sharif] had abolished the moratorium on death penalty in terrorism-related cases soon after assuming office.
The new courts, and the ensuing capital sentences and hangings, seem not to have deterred serious crimes.

Quaere: since the 21st Amendment, unless extended or made permanent, will expire in a year's time, what steps have been taken to bring the civilian courts up to speed? Deficiencies in those courts was one of the core reasons cited for enactment of the 21st Amendment.

And consider this postscript from The Huffington Post:
“Military trials in Pakistan are secret, opaque and make a mockery of Pakistan’s domestic and international fair trial obligations,” Sam Zarifi, the [International Commission of Jurists'] Asia Director, said in a statement. “Pakistan faces a genuine threat from militant group... but militarizing the judicial process will not lead to justice and it will not control terrorism. This is the lesson from around the world.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).