Saturday, September 3, 2011

Military law and Commissions


The Connecticut Law Tribune has an interesting piece.


A Lesson From Mexico About Military Courts
In July, the Mexican Supreme Court decided a case that arose from the 1974 “disappearance” of a civilian by Mexican military personnel. At issue was whether those responsible could be prosecuted in a military court or whether they had to be prosecuted in the civilian courts. Following a 2009 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Mexican court ruled in Rosendo Radilla Pacheco that human rights violations by soldiers must be tried in the regular common law courts. According to Chief Justice Juan Silva Meza, “Under no circumstances should the military tribunal operate in cases of human rights violations involving civilians.” Alberto Herrera, head of Amnesty International’s Mexican branch, cautioned, “We can transfer all the cases we want, but if civilian justice doesn’t function, none of this will amount to much.”