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n African Human Rights Law Journal - Military courts and human rights : a critical analysis of the compliance of Uganda's military justice with the right to an independent and impartial tribunal

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Abstract

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has emphasised that the right to a fair trial (which includes the right to an independent and impartial tribunal) applies in full to military courts as it does to the ordinary civilian courts. Based mainly on Uganda's military justice legal framework, this article critically examines the compliance of the country's military courts with the right to an independent and impartial tribunal. It is established that Uganda's military courts fall far short of meeting the essential objective conditions for guaranteeing the right to an independent and impartial tribunal. First, they do not have adequate safeguards to guarantee their institutional independence, especially from the military chain of command. Second, the judge advocates appointed to Uganda's military courts do not have adequate security of tenure. Third, the judge advocates and members of Uganda's military courts do not have financial security. To address these deficiencies, a number of recommendations are made, including establishing the office of an independent principal military judge to be in charge of appointing judge advocates to the different military tribunals; establishing the office of an independent director of military prosecutions to be in charge of prosecutions within the military justice system, including appointing prosecutors to the different military tribunals; providing the judge advocates with security of tenure; and prohibiting the performance of a judge advocate or member of a military court from being used to determine his or her qualification for promotion or rate of pay.

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/content/ju_ahrlj/12/2/EJC132350
2012-01-01
2016-12-05
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