Sunday, January 31, 2016

Outline of Singaporean military justice system

The Straits Times has published a useful summary of Singapore's military justice system. The distinction between the treatment of military and civilian-type offenses by military personnel is noteworthy, as is the reliance upon civilian judges and the absence of recourse to the highest civilian appellate court. Excerpt:
Depending on the offence, soldiers are brought before either a Judge Court Martial or Panel Court Martial.

The former, presided over by a district judge from the State Courts, deals with civil offences such as theft and drug consumption. 
In the latter, the judge is joined by two senior military officers on a panel which deals with "purely military offences", including Awol and desertion, said [attorney Amolat] Singh
Like the civilian courts, soldiers who are unhappy with their conviction or sentence can appeal to the Military Court of Appeal - the highest authority. 
They can also petition the Reviewing Authority of the Armed Forces Council, which consists of the Chief of Defence Force, a Service Chief, and the Ministry of Defence's permanent secretary for defence development. The Reviewing Authority can quash a court-martial sentence or reduce it.

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