Military courts in Pakistan: A critical analysis

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Pakistan is a frontline state against the global war on terrorism. In December 2014, an attack on a school in Peshwar, Pakistan killed more than 130 students. In response, the Government of Pakistan established military courts to conduct trials of those suspected of terrorism-related offences. This measure may be viewed as a necessary evil - a temporary measure to speed up the rial process. On the other hand, it breaches human rights guarantees such as the right to a fair trial and undermines the separation of judicial power. Therefore, it cannot be a desirable long-term solution to terrorism. From a global perspective, the issue confronting Pakistan is one shared by other States confronting the scourge of terrorism: should national security and public safety trump other human rights? Even so, should the Pakistani government continue on its path of prioritizing national security at the expense of civil liberties and various constitutional rights? And, if so, are there controls and a system of checks and balances over the powers of the government security organisations? Ultimately, I argue that the establishment of military courts is justified, albeit an 'antibiotic' solution to larger systemic deficiencies in the justice system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal governance and regulation
Subtitle of host publicationOrder and disorder in the 21st century
EditorsD Ireland-Piper, L Wolff
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351734011
ISBN (Print)9781472489012
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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