Enhancing Fairness and Compassion in Military Disciplinary Proceedings

Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Social Sciences Humanities and Education

Year: 2023



Enhancing Fairness and Compassion in Military Disciplinary Proceedings

Prof. Rinat Kitai-Sangero



The presentation critically assesses the disciplinary proceedings carried out by judicial officers within the military, shedding light on the absence of crucial procedural guarantees, such as the right to legal representation and an impartial judge. After comparing the Israeli disciplinary proceedings with the Summary Court-Martial system in the United States and considering arguments used to justify the lack of procedural guarantees, the presentation emphasizes the emotional distress experienced by soldiers who feel powerless due to power imbalances with their commanders and the severity of potential prison sentences they may face. While the presentation primarily focuses on the Israeli army, its main arguments hold relevance to disciplinary proceedings in militaries worldwide.
In light of the myriad concerns raised, the presentation advocates for the preservation of fair procedural guarantees in military disciplinary proceeding. It strongly suggests that the option of legal representation should be a prerequisite for imposing a sentence of imprisonment in such proceedings.
Furthermore, the presentation introduces the integrative tribunal established in Israel in 2018, specifically designed to address cases of desertion. This tribunal prioritizes addressing the root causes of desertion and focuses on the rehabilitation and reintegration of soldiers into proper military service, maintaining a fair process without resorting to imprisonment. By examining the proceedings of the integrative tribunal, the presentation advocates for extending equitable practices to disciplinary proceedings involving soldiers who have committed less severe offenses. It also suggests that this court could serve as a model for disciplinary proceedings worldwide. The overarching goal of this presentation is to promote a more just and balanced disciplinary process that upholds the principles of fairness and ensures consistency in the treatment of all misconduct cases.

keywords: Military Justice, Procedural Fairness, Integrative Tribunals