Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews; the suspension of civil law, civil rights, and habeas corpus; and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians.
Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal (court-martial).
What Is Martial Law?
Martial law is a law administered by the military rather than a civilian government.
Martial law may be declared in an emergency or response to a crisis, or to control occupied territory.
Martial law is law administered by the military rather than a civilian government, typically to restore order.
Martial law is declared in an emergency, in a response to a crisis, or to control occupied territory.
When martial law is declared, civil liberties, such as the right to free movement, free speech, protection from unreasonable searches, and habeas corpus laws may be suspended.
Understanding Martial Law
The declaration of martial law is a rare and momentous decision for a civilian government to make and for a good reason.
When martial law is declared, civilian control of some or all aspects of government operations is ceded to the military.
This means that, in the case of elected governments, the representatives chosen by the voting population are no longer in power.
Civilians have thus ceded control of the country in exchange for the potential restoration of order with the possibility that control may not be reclaimed in the future.
When martial law is declared, civil liberties, such as the right to free movement, free speech or protection from unreasonable searches, can be suspended.
The justice system that typically handles issues of criminal and civil law is replaced with a military justice system, such as a military tribunal.
Civilians may be arrested for violating curfews or for offenses that, in normal times, would not be considered serious enough to warrant detention.
Laws relating to habeas corpus that are designed to prevent unlawful detention may also be suspended, allowing the military to detain individuals indefinitely without the possibility of recourse.
Special Considerations—States of Emergency
The use of martial law in the wake of natural disasters is less common.
Rather than declare martial law and hand over power to the military in the case of a hurricane or earthquake, governments are much more likely to declare a state of emergency.
When a state of emergency is declared, the government may expand its powers or limit the rights of its citizens.
The government does not, however, have to hand power over to its military.
In some cases, a government may invoke a state of emergency specifically to suppress dissent or opposition groups.
In the English legal system, the term is of dubious significance; in the words of the English jurist Sir Frederick Pollock, “so-called ‘martial law,’ as distinct from military law, is an unlucky name for the justification by the common law of acts done by necessity for the defence of the Commonwealth when there is war within the realm.”
Such “acts done by necessity” are limited only by international law and the conventions of civilized warfare.
Further, the regular civil courts do not review the decisions of tribunals set up by the military authorities, and very little authority exists on the question of remedies against abuse of powers by the military.
In Great Britain and many other jurisdictions, such questions are of little significance in view of the modern practice of taking emergency or special powers by statute.
There are laws to armed conflict the you can find in the Geneva conventions and lieber codes .
Theres also international laws.
However as stated in this article military law is the likely case.
Military justice (or military law) is the body of laws and procedures governing members of the armed forces.
Many nation-states have separate and distinct bodies of law that govern the conduct of members of their armed forces.
Some states use special judicial and other arrangements to enforce those laws, while others use civilian judicial systems.
Legal issues unique to military justice include the preservation of good order and discipline, the legality of orders, and appropriate conduct for members of the military.
Some states enable their military justice systems to deal with civil offenses committed by their armed forces in some circumstances.
Military justice is distinct from martial law, which is the imposition of military authority on a civilian population as a substitute for civil authority, and is often declared in times of emergency, war, or civil unrest.
Most countries restrict when and in what manner martial law may be declared and enforced.
Military Law in Australia covers contemporary legal practice in a military context.
It is written by a stable of experts drawn from the profession, including a judicial officer, barristers, legal practitioners within Defence, legal academics, and public lawyers in government and the private sector.
This is the first comprehensive book on military law in Australia for nearly a century, filling a hitherto neglected area of jurisprudence.
The chapters cover all areas of law which have a special impact on the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
These include the history of Australia’s military operations, the development of the military justice system, particularly its constitutional foundation, and the key operational areas involving criminal, administrative, and international law including cyber law and outer space.
Of particular relevance to serving members are those aspects of the book which deal with personnel matters for ADF members and their families, such as housing, health and welfare, superannuation, compensation and transition from the ADF, as well as defence awards, funeral assistance, and the rules concerning members’ ability to stand for Parliament.
For too long, the rules concerning the military in Australia have not readily been accessible, even by Commanders and practitioners.
This work fills that gap in Australia’s knowledge of the operations of a long-standing and increasingly important arm of their government.
In 1982 the Federal Government introduced the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA) as a part of Commonwealth law.
This law became effective in 1985, and all ADF members are subject to it.
The purpose of the DFDA is to maintain and enforce military discipline.
The discipline system is necessary for ADF operational capability by dealing with offences that affect military discipline.
This includes offences that are uniquely military and other offences that occur in a military environment.
Offences by ADF members are prosecuted under the DFDA, within the military justice system, when the offence substantially affects the maintenance and ability to enforce Service discipline in the ADF.
Otherwise, criminal offences or other illegal conduct are referred to civil authorities, such as the police.
The military justice system provides the ADF with an Australian legal framework able to be applied on operations anywhere in the world.
This is essential because the ADF may conduct operations in countries where the civil system has broken down and no law applies.
The military justice system applies to all ADF members in times of peace and war, whether in Australia or overseas.
ADF members must maintain the high level of discipline required on operations, at all times.
The discipline system includes processes for the investigation of alleged offences, preferring of charges and conduct of fair and reasonable trials.
All ADF members have access to free legal advice in the internal discipline system.
This is unique to the military.
The discipline system includes safeguards such as automatic review of convictions and punishments and the right to an internal and external appeal.
These safeguards are more extensive and rigorous than those available in the civilian criminal system.
Adverse administrative action
A high standard of professional conduct is expected of all ADF members.
If professional conduct falls below standard, administrative action is taken.
Administrative action includes counselling, formal warnings, censures, removal from command, and discharge from service.
Right to complain
There are a number of internal and external organisations to assist ADF members in making a redress or complaint. Usually members submit redress or other complaints through their commanding officer or chain of command. If this course of action is not appropriate then members are able to seek other avenues for complaints.
Internal organisations for dealing with complaints include:
Values, Behaviours & Resolutions; andInspector General ADF.
External organisations include:
The Defence Force Ombudsman;Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; andthe Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
In some cases, members may also seek a review of the administrative conduct or decisions, made in the ADF, by the Federal Court and higher courts.