Friday, November 9, 2018

Reinstate military courts in Estonia?

A former commander of the Estonian Defence Forces has proposed that the country reinstate military courts and have dedicated lawyers working in the Office of the Prosecutor General. The context of the proposal is described here. Former defence ministers are split. The Justice Ministry is opposed:
The ministry commented that introducing a special court for the military would not make sense at this point in time.

Deputy secretary-general for legal policy, Kai Härmand told ERR that a step-by-step specialisation of judges is already happening anyway. "We have judges who specialise in juvenile crime, or in intellectual property matters. We've approached military issues the same way. What matters here isn't to have a separate institution, but that we have people who get the necessary training, but at the same time are entirely regular judges," Härmand said.

"A judge doesn't need to be a medical doctor to decide in cases concerning the quality of drugs. Knowledge of these specific areas can be gained where needed by including specialists and experts," Härmand added.
Whether or not the proposal gains traction, it raises some basic issues and bears watching. 

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