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What is Martial Law?

Martial Law
Martial Law- Image Source: Getty Images

Martial law is the temporary imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions or suspension of civil law by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed, or in an occupied territory.

When martial law is in effect, the military commander of an area or country has unlimited authority to make and enforce laws. Martial law is justified when civilian authority has ceased to function, is completely absent, or has become ineffective.

Military personnel cannot be used in surveillance or undercover operations, and they may not be used as informants, investigators, or interrogators unless the investigation is a joint military-civilian operation in which the military has an interest in the case’s outcome.

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