In this chapter, Arne Willy Dahl addresses the trend of “civilianisation” of military justice systems, a recurring theme of this anthology, and evaluates this phenomenon from the perspective of the armed forces’ long-term self-interest in having an effective accountability system. For soldiers, military justice may provide not only the hope of fair trial but also guidance and confidence after their sometimes challenging decisions in combat. For commanders, such jurisdictions may minimise the damage to reputation caused by individual violations and avoid unnecessary friction with the local population in the area where the force operates. Dahl then discusses three elements for an effective justice system: independence, military expertise and portability.
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