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The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary edited by Haldemann, Frank; Unger, Thomas (22nd March 2018)

Part III The Right to Justice, C Restrictions on Rules of Law Justified By Action to Combat Impunity, Principle 29 Restrictions on the Jurisdiction of Military Courts

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

From: The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary

Edited By: Frank Haldemann, Thomas Unger

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 October 2019

Subject(s):
Human rights — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions — Military matters

Principle 29 deals with restrictions on the jurisdiction of military courts. Under this Principle, the adjudication of human rights violations by military courts is explicitly excluded, and ordinary domestic courts are mandated as the only appropriate venue of judicial oversight. Nevertheless, military courts remain functionally important for the routine and uncontroversial deployment of military law consistent with international law. The chapter first provides a contextual and historical background on Principle 29 before discussing its theoretical framework and how military courts are used in various countries such as Ireland and Turkey. Issues arising when civilians find themselves within the jurisdiction of military courts are also examined, along with the difficulties of ensuring fair trials in military courts. This chapter shows that military courts, while certainly serving important functions within the military forces of states, remain subject to human rights and humanitarian law compliance.

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