Thursday, September 19, 2019

Trial of civilians by military tribunals.

Cameroun lawyer, Me ALice Nkom writesThe jurisdiction of the military tribunal explained to mychild” of the Tribune. In her article, KNom  explains to her child why in Cameroon military tribunal cannot try civilians. She notes: “Cameroon has ratified international agreements that exclude civilians from the jurisdiction of the military court” including “the Directives and Principles on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Aid in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, which state that "under no circumstances may military courts , try the civilians”

Nkom also makes the point that one can not talk about "military" justice, and apply it to civilians. She reminds the reader that military justice was instituted, only to repress the behaviors which the military consider reprehensible in their ranks. A civilian therefore can not commit a "military" offense because one of the constituent elements of the military offense is the military status which necessarily entails a military mentality. In closing she adds that military courts are very often located in military barracks, which by definition are closed to the public. The civil defendant therefore runs the risk that his rights will be violated without witnesses liable to denounce these violations.

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