International Military Justice Forum
Military justice as it is, as it was, as it was compared and as it could be.
Paris, Cour de Cassation, November 18 and 19, 2021
Argument. The International Military Justice Forum (IMJF) is a place of debate, meeting and exchange that proposes to explore a variety of military justice issues. Its first objective is to highlight the diversity of military justice systems, to expose their salient features, to explore their history and to underline their actual evolution. In a comparative way, the IMJF also aims to emphasize links and similarities that may have existed - or still exist - between national military laws, which may be consequences of circulations of legal models, codes, doctrines and people or the existence geopolitical influences. This scientific event must finally allow us to imagine together what the future of military law could be, as our armed forces are transformed by new technologies. Its originality is to mix disciplines. History, law, ethics, philosophy and new technologies will be at the heart of our debates and discussions. The IMJF, which is a continuation of the work carried out by lawyers at the Research Centre of the French Military Academy Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan (CREC) from 2010, was created to bring together academics, professionals, armed forces officers, engineers and all those who share an interest for this exciting discipline. The CREC, in collaboration with the Parquet Général of the French Cour de Cassation, will host the first edition of the International Military Justice Forum in Paris on November 18 and 19, 2021.
Objectives: • To highlight contemporary military justice systems and to compare them (Military Justice as it is). This first part should be used to deepen knowledge on military justice systems that exist in the world and to identify points of comparison. Many issues are to be considered: What are the legal foundations of military justice? What is military courts’ jurisdiction? How are courts organized? How are they hierarchized? How do they work? Are they special and different from the civilian courts? Are they civilian specialized courts? Or are they organized in a mixed way? Who is the judge? What is the procedure? What are the offences? What are the penalties? What is the officer's role in military justice? All these questions could also be used to provide a critical look at a national military justice system, in terms of structure or training: how to improve military justice? • To recount the history of military justice in the world (Military Justice as it was).
This second part aims to highlight the main historical developments of military justice, from Antiquity to the contemporary period: 1/ The evolution of the sources of military justice: Military justice systems are known to have been largely built by major legislations. As, among others, the first Articles of War in England (1385), the Mandement de Montdidier (1347) and legislations of 1796 in France or the Swedish code of 1621. At the origins of these founding texts, famous legislators have left their mark on the history of military justice. However, the latter has also developed in practice, thanks to courts decisions and to political debates. In other words, what have been sources of military justice? Who are those who contributed to its history? 2/ The institutional aspect: Gradually, military justice has been structured and institutionalized, before being integrated into State administration. How has military justice been transformed in the context of the construction of states and the establishment of permanent and professional armies? This question implies others: how did new bodies of specialized lawyers appear? Broadly speaking, what have been the major structural and institutional transformations of military justice? 3/ The theoretical foundations of military justice: Christianity, Humanism or Enlightenment, for example, may have influenced development and evolution of military justice (Belli, Ayala, Grotius, Vettel, etc.). The French revolutionaries were also not insensitive to the fate of the soldier before a court. Who are the main authors and intellectuals who used their pen to call for reform? What were their arguments? Have they been influential? 4 / Military justice in its military context: Establishing a modern system of military justice is one thing. Being able to make it work properly is another. Has military justice always been effective in times of war and especially in times of debacle or defeat? 5/ Military justice in practice: The history of military justice is also that of trials and cases. Some are famous, others have been forgotten. Some have made military justice grow, others have turned public opinion against it. What are great military affairs in history? Which less well-known ones deserve to be known better?
The circulation of military justice models in the world (Military Justice as it was compared) Comparative studies can answer two sets of questions. 1/ Why compare national military law? It seems that many authors, lawyer or not, military or not, have compared in the past and still compare military national laws or military justice systems today. And there is a variety of reasons: criticizing a system, promoting or rejecting reform, categorizing or classifying laws or procedures, or simply exposing diversity. It also seems that several national military laws have been models used to build other national legal systems. The aim is to look at the circulation of military law models around the world, and to expose methods and motives of legal comparison. 2/ Are there "families" of military law? French comparatist René David identified several "families" of legal systems in the world (Common Law, Civil Law, Religious Law, etc.)? But could it be possible to identify families of military laws? In other words, have colonization, international treaties of all kinds (e.g. NATO), intergovernmental organizations (Ex: Commonwealth), political unions (Ex: USSR), political and economic associations (Ex: EU) or simply interstate cultural or diplomatic bounds, contributed to the emergence of "families" of military justice systems, whose members share common features and similarities?
Imagine tomorrow’s military law and military justice (Military Justice as it it could be). Battlefield robotization, augmented soldier, artificial intelligence; technological developments present and to come and their use by armed forces will necessarily be controlled and regulated by law. Stakes are numerous: responsibility, consent, courts’ jurisdiction, etc. Which future for military law and military justice?
Papers will be given in English or in French (interpreters will translate from English to French and from French to English). Organization committee: Stéphane Baudens (CREC Saint-Cyr) Eric Gherardi (CREC Saint-Cyr) Gwenaël Guyon (CREC Saint-Cyr) Gérard de Boisboissel (CREC Saint-Cyr) Proposals for communication (400 words maximum), should be sent to the forum’s organizers, specifying in which section papers would be included: firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2021.
(source: ESCLH Blog)