Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pakistani lawyers oppose revival of military courts

The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan is opposing revival of the country's military courts' power to prosecute civilians. Details here. Excerpt:
The association urged the stakeholders, including political parties and civil society to oppose the move, terming it against the nature of law as well as against the essence of administration of justice. 
SCBA President Rasheed A Rizvi asked the stakeholders to resists the extension of military courts as they do not provide an opportunity of fair trial to the accused. 
Talking to reporters, he predicted that like past in 1992 the experience of such courts would not yield fruitful results adding that such courts had not provided an opportunity of fair and transparent trial envisaged under Article 10A. 
Rizvi said that unless and until prosecution, intelligence agencies and investigation agencies were not strengthened, the menace of terrorism could not be subdued. 
"Cosmetic convictions by the military courts cannot resolve the issue of terrorism," he said. 
Rizvi also said that military courts had denied the right of an appeal to the accused which was violation of due process of law. 
He said that if an appeal was filed with the chief of army staff and after its rejection, the accused was hanged the very next day which was severe injustice with the accused, adding that any court of law was required to wait for the disposal of an appeal.

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