Sunday, January 3, 2016

To be or not to be court-martialed

Should "hard core terrorists" be tried in military court? And if so, what rights of civilian review exist?  Those are the questions facing the Pakistani legal system. We read from The Express Tribune that:
After the passage of 21st constitutional amendment that allows establishment of military courts to try hardcore terrorists, legal experts have raised questions over the ‘denial of right to fair trial’ guaranteed by Article-10A of the Constitution.
Legal experts are divided on whether or not the top court should intervene in the military court proceedings and protect the rights to fair trial to the alleged militants.
As always, with reference to our experiences under the UCMJ, etc., we know that Guantanamo Bay Cuba detainees have some access to federal civilian courts, including to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in limited circumstances. Interestingly, and most unfortunately, detainees have a better access to the SCOTUS than does a U.S. servicemember. A U.S. servicemember can only get their court-martial conviction reviewed by the SCOTUS when they have received a significant sentence and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has "granted" a petition for review.

All of this comes in the wake of various legal - court-martial events noticed by Gene in previous posts.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting, Phil. If this quotation from the article is correct (and I have no reason to question it) such proceedings are the antithesis of the Rule of Law:

    According to judicial reviews filed by human rights activist Asma Jahangir on behalf of Haider Ali and Qari Zahir, the two death-row prisoners, the military court did not allow the convicts to hire counsels nor did it provide any copy of the verdicts which amounts to violation of Article-10A.


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