Since 2020, the Military Law Unit, in conjunction with the Army Staff, has been writing practical information sheets, regularly updated and published on the Army’s information website.
Each regiment and unit of the Army used to have a Legal Information and Social Action Unit (CIJAS), staffed by aspirants, which has been abolished since the abandonment of military service. In an attempt to help the Human Environment Offices (BEH) of the regiments, the Military Law Unit offers legal information dedicated to the daily legal affairs of military personnel.
At the request of the EMAT, it drafts practical notes on questions put to it.
It is able to resolve, via the clinic, and with the necessary confidentiality, any difficulties that military personnel may encounter.
By 2021, he is preparing a column on military law, a webinar on this experience and an information website dedicated to the rights and duties of military personnel.
“Military law” is mainly associated with “the law of war” or of “armed conflict” (comp. D. Cumin, Manuel de droit de la guerre, Bruylant, 2nd ed. 2020) that is to say with questions of public international law. Yet this essential aspect masks another reality, law of soldiers, as envisaged in the French Defense Code, but also in a whole series of provisions, legal, cases or simply customary law, on the way in which the law, public or private law, deals with the military “item”, the soldier, the status of the soldier, his rights, duties and obligations, but also all the questions, large or small, which make the condition of the soldier. In the past, for example, the marriage of a soldier was an issue treated in an exceptional way, while, when taken from the point of the customs of military marriages, the question still deserves attention.
Likewise, the place of the military in contemporary French society is unique. The soldier is not a civil servant, but a soldier, with a special status linked to the consideration of the engagement, possibly giving his life to protect the major interests of the Nation, whose recently reformulated “Code of Honor” gives all its particular density: commitment, discipline, availability, dignity, reserve, loyalty, benevolence, training, excellence, sacred mission, initiative, humanity, respect. Death. Injury.
These are the values, and perspectives, which make the soldier a very special citizen in the heart of the Nation. His fellow citizens observe him with attention whenever their attention is drawn to the death of a soldier in combat or in training, and to ceremonies whose scale, in what they have of grandiose and stupefying, are commensurate with this specificity. Part of a body of which he is an indivisible element, the soldier is also a citizen, subject to the laws, but whose particularity of their application deserves the attention which this column of military law wishes to reflect. It is a question of illustrating the existence of a “law” of the military, and not of “rights of the military” in a demanding, petty or revengeful manner like the publicity practiced by certain so-called “military” lawyers.
The elements of law of soldiers then fit into a particular dimension insofar as it widens to considerations which sometimes come under “military law” or “the law of war” but with the idea of clarifying the consistency of this right of the military, whether it concerns the application of the statute itself but also a civil law of the military or the penal dimension framing its action