Friday, February 23, 2024

Military justice reform "urgently needed" in Ukraine

In this Kennan Institute blog post, Armenak Ohanesian, Head of Legal Studies at the Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis of Russia (IKAR), Kyiv, argues that Ukraine's legal structure for the administration of justice in the armed forces needs a great deal of work. Excerpt:

Reforming Ukraine's military justice system can and should address both immediate and long-term needs. Enhancing the draft law to clearly articulate the functions and authority of the MJU, combined with essential Rules of Procedures and establishing credible oversight mechanisms and ethical standards, is crucial for maintaining integrity and public trust in the military justice system.

Ukraine might also seek international guidance in this regard from NATO-aligned countries to better align its military justice practices with international standards, implementing a model akin to the JAG Corps. This would not only ensure that Ukraine's military justice system was equipped to handle the complexities of modern military operations while upholding the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct, it would also reinforce Ukraine’s commitment to the rule of law and democratic values.

Reforming the military justice system in Ukraine is an urgent matter and a strategic imperative that demands immediate attention and action, of a piece with Ukraine's broader goals of democratic reform.

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