Monday, December 5, 2016

Stars in your eyes?

Were you hoping to become a flag or general officer in one of the U.S. JAG Corps? If so, you might want to read this Lawfare post by Paul Rosenzweig.

Why has this case been referred to a military court?

A retired Russian officer, already serving time on an earlier charge, has been referred to a military court on charges that he sent a video from jail urging others to engage in acts of violence. The Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) has the story of Col. (R) Vladimir Kvachkov here.
According to case papers, Kvachkov, who is serving his sentence in a Mordovia’s prison, made a video appeal via his cellphone in 2015. Investigators believe that other inmates sent the video “to email of persons at large.” These people later posted it on the Internet. 
Experts found that the video contained linguistic and psychological elements of inciting the public to violent coup and acts of violence against Russian authorities, the statement reads.
The exercise of military jurisdiction over retired military personnel violates contemporary human rights norms. Could this case not have been tried in a civilian Mordvinian court?

Discharged Nigerian officers make a little progress

National legislation on the administrative separation of military officers varies widely. Here Nigeria's Premium Times reports that the National Industrial Court has directed the military to respond to complaints by 22 discharged senior officers. Only recently has the Army given the reasons for the officers' separation.

Continued aftershocks from the Buchris case in Israel

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot
The controversy surrounding the case against Brig. Gen. (Res) Ofek Buchris continues to make shock waves. According to this account in The Times of Israel, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the Chief of Staff, has issued a letter announcing a zero-tolerance policy:
“I plan to continue to show zero tolerance towards any incident of sexual harassment or assault in the IDF,” Eisenkot wrote in a letter sent to commanders. 
“We will not shut our eyes, give up or hesitate to take decisive actions, even in cases where high-ranking officers are involved, regardless of their rank, their actions or their successes — these things are not relevant in such cases.”
"Different spanks for different ranks"? The article continues:
The perceived light sentence for Buchris’s crimes has prompted a social media protest. Current and former IDF soldiers have taken to Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag “#More than Buchris,” sharing stories of minor offenses — a misspelled word, an unclean floor, a yawn during a formal ceremony — that earned them harsher punishments than the one received by the brigadier general.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fiji -- island paradise?

The Guardian reports here on an Amnesty International report on the systematic use of torture by police and military personnel in Fiji. "Beating Justice: How Fiji's Security Forces Get Away with Torture," can be found here. At times impunity can be achieved simply by letting offenders out of jail early. From The Guardian's article:
Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific researcher, said that in Fiji “accountability for torture is the exception rather than the rule”. 
“This amounts to a climate of near impunity,” she said. “It is the result of the fact that torture is poorly defined in law, immunity is granted, there are few legal safeguards and there is no independent oversight.” 
The Amnesty report calls for independent oversight of Fiji’s security forces, the reform of the country’s legal framework and the bringing of officials responsible for torture to justice. 
“To rid Fiji of torture, the authorities should withdraw the armed forces from policing tasks and the military should not be above the law,” Schuetze said.