Saturday, January 7, 2017

The sun really did set

Two years ago, Pakistan amended its constitution to permit military courts to try civilians accused of certain offenses. The measure had a two-year sunset clause, and as of this writing the measure has not been extended. Dawn has the story here. Enactment of some other measure cannot be ruled out, but the real answer seems to be for Pakistan to energize its civilians courts so justice can be dispensed fairly, reliably, and in a timely fashion. That was supposed to happen during the just-ended two-year period, but didn't. One very unfortunate legacy of the short life of the 21st Amendment was that it was upheld by the Supreme Court. Various challenges to cases decided under the measure remain pending, and it will be interesting to see how the courts handle them, now that the amendment has expired.

Dawn also ran this very helpful detailed backgrounder.

The coveted Ansell Award goes to Pakistan for this positive development (subject to revocation in the event of future retrograde legislative action).

Samuel T. Ansell

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