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Military Prosecution Becomes an Individual Organization

Posted November. 30, 2004 22:25,   


A measure is being pushed forward to integrate the military prosecution currently led by division commanders into a single organization under the Ministry of National Defense.

The individual Military Prosecution will be able to command the Military Police and military intelligence units.

On November 30, the Judiciary Reform Committee under the Supreme Court announced that it held its 25th general meeting on November 29 and agreed on a reform act on military legal systems including these contents.

According to the act, the military prosecution units above divisions will be integrated as Military Prosecution under the Ministry of National Defense, Military Prosecution personnel management will be undertaken by the ministry, and Military Prosecutors will be selected among military judicial officers or civilians who have the right to practice law.

Currently, the commander of the relevant unit has the authority to supervise and command military prosecutors, which has led to criticism that “the military judiciary system is a supervisory means for commanders.”

The Judiciary Reform Committee decided to abolish the Justice System through which officers who are not military justices participated in military trials and the Commanding Officer Confirmation System, in which the unit commander can cut the punishment if he believes it is too harsh.

The committee also decided to establish Military Justices under the Ministry of National Defense that will hold circuit courts to secure independence and impartiality of the military court. The personnel arrangements of Military Justices will be undertaken by the defense minister, not the commanders of the military, but a Military Justice Personnel Committee will be established with participation of civilians to guarantee impartiality.

However, the committee’s act will not only entail amendments to relevant laws such as the Military Court Law but also bring forth strong opposition from the military. Therefore, it expected to take considerable time before the act can be implemented.