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Civilians Trials in Military Courts in Pakistany. The International Fair Trial Standards on Military Justice. A Critical Analysis

Hussain Ahmad1& Sara Qayum2

Abstract
In response to the militant assault on a school in Peshawar in 2014, killing¬† 141 people, mostly children, the State of Pakistan has established MCsto trial civilians blamed for enumerated terrorism-related wrongdoings.Since the establishment of MCs in January 2015, many civilians have been awarded death sentences and various ranges of imprisonment. Nonetheless, nationally and internationally, there are widespread reservations about the working mechanism of Pakistan’s MCs. It is alleged that they fall seriously short of the international norms of a fair trial. This research study investigated the compatibility of these MCs with the international fair trial standards. The study found that Pakistan’s military justice mechanism to trial civilians is incompatible with the international norms of fairness and due process. The paper suggests that the only long-term way out to the growing menace of violence in Pakistan lies in strengthening the ordinary criminal administration of justice rather than resorting to the shortsighted and ‘exceptional’measures.

Keywords: Right to a Fair Trial;Military Courts;Violation of Fair Trial Rights; International Fair Trial Standards on Military Justice; Pakistan