Importance Of Martial Law In Malaysia

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Introduction

Military law is a system of rules established for the government of persons in the armed forces.It is the law which governs the Members of the Armed Forces and regulates the Conduct of officers and soldier as such, in peace and war, at home and abroad. Its object is to maintain discipline as well as to deal with matters of administration in the armed forces. As distinguished from the ordinary civil law, it is administered by military commanders, military courts and is chiefly concerned with the trial and punishment of offences committed against its enactments; but on becoming subject to military law the soldier does not cease to be subject to the ordinary criminal and civil law (Halsbury, 2nd Ed. 1938, Vol.28, n. 1217). Furthermore, military law is to be distinguished from martial law. Martial law applies when the application of the ordinary rules of law by the ordinary courts is suspended and such law is then enforced by military tribunals. Anything in the nature of martial law could only be lawfully proclaimed and enforced in Malaysia under the authority of an act of parliament. Proclamation of Emergency by the YDPA might give such authority. Military aid to the civil authority in order to suppress riots is quite a different matter from martial law because it’s dealt with under the Public Order(Preservation) Act 1958 and the Penal Code. Martial law is usually imposed on a temporary basis when the government or civilian authorities fail to function

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