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National Defense Ministry Puts An End To Trial Of Civilians By Military Justice

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National Defense Ministry Puts An End To Trial Of Civilians By Military Justice

The Ministry of National Defense has formally ended the trial of civilians in military courts by providing for the transfer of cases of crimes committed by citizens against State security to the courts of public law rather than to military courts.
In this respect, the Minister of Relations with the Parliament Mahdjoub Bedda, stated Sunday in Algiers that the specific character of military justice does not make it an exceptional justice in view of the developments it has undergone stressing that it “is an integral part of the national legal order”.
Responding to the concerns of the members of the National People’s Assembly (NPA) in the debate on the relevant bill, the minister said that the specific nature of military justice “does not make it an exceptional justice” in view of the developments it has undergone, adding that military justice “exercised under the control of the Supreme Court is an integral part of the national legal order”.
In this regard, the Minister underlined that “the specific character of military justice is not specific to Algeria and that this is the trend in most countries of the world”, stating that “judicial policies in Algeria are oriented towards the creation of specialized judicial bodies, and this through the establishment already of specialized judicial poles. Therefore, he added, military justice is in perfect harmony with these policies.
On the question of whether military magistrates have the same rights as their civilian counterparts and on a possible law specific to this category, Mr Bedda indicated that “this concern is addressed by the text of the law through Article 11 which stipulates that the Statute of the military magistrate will be determined by a specific law”.
For their part, the members of the National People’s Assembly (NPA) were unanimous on Sunday to value the draft law on military justice, calling it a “pillar” and “qualitative leap”, which has consolidated the legal arsenal in terms of judicial independence.
During the free-wheeling debate on the bill amending and supplementing Ordinance 71-28 on the Code of Military Justice, presented by the Minister of Relations with Parliament, Mr. Mahdjoub Bedda, during a plenary session chaired by Mr. Said Bouhadja, the speakers commended the provisions contained in this bill.
Hadda Soufi, MP for the National Liberation Front (FLN), dubbed the bill “a pillar that has been added to the legal system as part of the modernization of the national justice sector in terms of judicial independence”.
MP Habib Senouci, of the same political party, said that the bill represents “a qualitative leap in the promotion of human rights”, emphasizing “the solid guarantees ensuring the defendant a fair trial”.
For her part, Noura Labiod, a member of the national democratic Rally (RND) parliamentary group, welcomed the provisions to bring military justice under the control of the Supreme Court.
For his part, MP Nasser Hamdadouche (MSP) hailed the “unqualified” examination of this bill despite its particularities and the specificity of the military institution, expressing, by the same token, the MSP’s aspiration to the “integration of military justice into the mainstream justice system”.
The same deputy hailed the harmony of the legal text with the amended Constitution in 2016, in particular with the creation of the indictment chamber, as an opportunity to defend oneself, expressing however reservations about the measures to extend the status of judicial officer, warning against the danger of “misusing these prerogatives”.
Deputy Chafika Ferarma (Union Ennahda-Adala-Bina) said that the bill would “bolster the professionalism of the National People’s Army”, (ANP) by notably proposing the drafting of a law specific to military magistrates.
For his part, MP Mustapha Nouassa (TAJ) said that this text “constitutes evidence of the adaptation of the military institution to the swift changes Algeria is undergoing in the context of enshrining the rule of law in the country”.
For his part, MP Djelloul Djoudi (PT) questioned the “guarantees” provided by the bill to the litigant for ensuring a fair trial.

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