Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Call for the abolition of "military justice" in Spain

The Catalan separatist party, Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña (ERC) last week presented a proposal to the House of Deputies in Congress that has generated debate within the Spanish Army.  The ERC is seeking the reform of two laws concerning the military: the scope and organization of military jurisdiction and the military penal code.

A female corporal who was interviewed said that military justice should be abolished because it only sentences a superior officer to two years, so that they won't be expelled from the Army, whereas the subordinates get a direct expulsion.  The ERC says the priority should be to end "impunity for harassment, abuses and sexual aggression against women in the Armed Forces" as well as "restricting and eliminating military justice."  They point out that Germany eliminated military justice in 1949, France in 1982, and then Holland, Belgium and Norway followed suit.  The female corporal added that "we are a hundred years behind Europe."

Edmundo Bal, a Deputy and spokesman for Citizens in the Congress, expressed his opinion that the law should be amended but not abolished.  Military jurisdiction carries out "magnificent work" and takes decisions like any other court, and despite its very "particular" composition it deals with "complex" legislation in a "very specific" way.

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