Sunday, January 26, 2020

Military justice in Myanmar: is it credible?

Ye Mon has this article in Frontier Myanmar under the title "Myanmar's Military 'Justice' System." Excerpt"
Military courts operate under the provisions of the 1959 Defence Services Act and the accompanying courts martial procedures. The law exempts servicemen from civilian courts in most cases, even when the alleged victims are civilians. Because very few of the procedures are publicised or open to public observation, it is hard to know how closely the rules are followed in courts martial.

The 1959 act provides for four kinds of courts martial: general, district, summary general and summary courts martial.

A general court martial can be ordered by the president and the Tatmadaw commander-in-chief and any officers empowered by them.

The act stipulates that a general court martial should be heard by at least five officers, each of whom has been commissioned for at least three years and of whom at least four are not below the rank of an army captain or equivalent rank in the other services. The act also says that the prosecutors must be from the Tatmadaw and civilian lawyers cannot act for the complainant, even if the complainant is a civilian.

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