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Uruguay: Military Justice
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > The Armed Forces in the National Life > Military Justice


According to the constitution of 1967, the military justice system had jurisdiction over military offenders who committed crimes during wartime; in peacetime the system had jurisdiction only over military personnel charged with committing military offenses. During the period of military rule, civilians charged with crimes against the national security were tried by military courts, as were most offenses committed by military personnel. The role of the military justice system was greatly reduced because of the return to democracy, however, and since that timethe Supreme Court of Justice has consistently held that in peacetime, jurisdictional disputes between the parallel civil and military court systems should be resolved in favor of the civil courts. Whenever the Supreme Court of Justice accepted a military case on appeal, the law required that two military judges serve on the court on an ad hoc basis.

The Supreme Military Tribunal, which was composed of five members, four of whom had to be military field-grade officers, was the highest military appeals court for military offenders. Beneath it were two military judges of first instance, who had original jurisdiction over serious offenses and appellate jurisdiction over less serious offenses. Those who had committed less serious offenses were first tried by lower court judges.

Data as of December 1990

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uruguay was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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