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Somaliland Military Law

The Somaliland Charter 1993 and the Somaliland Constitution swept away Siyad Barre’s draconian militray and para-military laws. The Constitution sets out the courts of law of the land and,  in Article 104, confines the jurisdiction of the mlitary courts to dealing with criminal cases brought against the members of the armed forces, in times of peace or war, only.  Article 104(2) adds that the structure and the prosecution service of the militray courts shall be set out in a law, but no such law has been passed yet. 

As there have been no codes on military law passed by the Somaliland parliament yet, the pre 1969 codes are applied in this area since much of the legislation passed by the Somali Dicatorship in 1969 to 1990 is unlikely to pass the test of conformity with human rights and Islam test as set out in Article 130(5) of the Somaliland Constitution.  The following pre 1969 Codes are therefore used in Somaliland:

1.  The Code of Military Criminal Law in Peace and War (Legislative Decree No: 2 of 24 December 1963).

2. The Code of Military Criminal Procedure in Paece and War (Legislative Decree No: 1 of 31 March 1964).

Article 123 of the Constitution sets out the functions of the Armed Forces and adds that they shall always act in comformity with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws of the land. To underline the political  control  of the Armed Forces, Article 123(4) confirms that the Minister of Defence shall always be a civilian and not a member of the Armed Forces. 


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