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Ecuador Table of Contents


Military Justice

Military justice followed procedures prescribed in the armed forces' penal code. A trial for a nonserious offense was held in the military unit of the accused, with the case usually prosecuted by a member of the judge advocate corps and decided by the unit commander and two officers of captain rank. The accused had the right to representation and to speak in his or her own defense and to be defended by a qualified individual. Trials for more serious offenses were held in the headquarters of the military zone or the navy or air force district in courts known as military discipline councils. A member of the military accused of serious crimes was subject to court-martial. All members of such a court were senior in rank to the accused.

Military law could be implemented in cases of serious civil disorder. Such law authorized trials of civilians in military courts. Civilians could also be tried for infractions of military regulations or acts against military installations. In practice, few civilian detainees were placed under military control and these were generally persons accused of terrorism or subversion.

The procedures and penalties in military trials closely approximated those of civil courts. The maximum penalty was sixteen years for most serious crimes, such as murder. A person convicted of the military offense of treason, however, could be punished by life imprisonment. An individual guilty of insubordination could receive from three months to two years of military confinement. In cases of absence without leave, sentences ranged from eight days to two years, depending in part on the reasons for the transgression.

Data as of 1989