Chimera, military as civil authorities

Our Mexican legal system has as its antecedent the institutions of Roman law.

For ancient Rome, its army was of great importance, since thanks to it it was able to conquer and extend its domain in practically the entire western world and part of the eastern world of the time.

Due to the great importance that the Roman army had, the rules, norms and punishments that were imposed on the military were different from those that were not part of it (call themselves civilians), they used to be less severe, since the soldiers they had to conserve their strength and skills to continue fighting for Rome.

This differentiation, gradually, gave rise to the branch of military law, which is distinguished from civil law (which includes civil, commercial, criminal, labor law, etc.) in terms of those subject to those that apply, as well as the penalties and punishments for criminal conduct and the judges who impose them.

With the militarization of the National Guard, an anomalous and totally contradictory phenomenon occurs, since those in charge of applying and enforcing the “right of civilians” are military, to whom that same right does not apply.

In other words, in the event of offenses committed by members of the National Guard, they will be judged in accordance with the rules of military law, remaining outside the scope of the common law justice system, which is precisely what they are in charge of applying. , now turning them into a chimera, having the quality of civil authority without losing their military character, which results in a blunder that will surely have serious consequences.

Article 89, section VI of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States and the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation “SCJN” have defined that the constitutional mission of the Armed Forces is national security against threats from beyond our borders.

Although article 129 of the Federal Constitution provides that: “In peacetime, no military authority may exercise more functions than those that are strictly related to military discipline…”, the Plenary of the SCJN has determined that the armed forces may act in aid of the civil authorities when they or the President of the Republic request it, however, this intervention, historically allowed, does not mean that the military elements have the character and functions of civil authorities, as is currently happening with the National Guard.

It has been widely criticized that the fundamental objective of the armed forces is to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, not to become civil authorities to take care exclusively of internal security.

What has practically not been analyzed are the consequences that we will face when the elements of the army that make up the National Guard incur in offenses or conduct that for common law they classify as criminal, but it is the military law that is in charge of their knowledge, resolution and imposition. of penalties and punishments.

The questions that necessarily arise around this concern are, to name a few: Do the elements of the National Guard enjoy military jurisdiction? Do they have judicial immunity? How can they exercise the functions of civil authorities, but be outside the empire of the common law?

Ultimately, the implications of the National Guard militarization experiment remain to be seen.

As always a pleasure to greet you, hoping that these few letters have been to your liking and, above all, useful. Until next time!

Source: Debate

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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