Supreme Military Council

Amendments to the Law no. 1612 on the Structure and Duties of the Supreme Military Council changed the composition of the Supreme Military Council to the favor of civilian members, and reduced the frequency of its meetings. The powers and influence of the Chief of General Staff and the Deputy Chief were restricted, while those of the Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense were expanded.

Supreme Military Council’s membership structure was also changed. At the present, the Supreme Military Council consists of the Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff, Deputy Prime Ministers, Minister of Justice, Foreign Minister, Minister of Interior, and Minister of National Defense, as well as the force commanders. The latest amendment added the Ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior to the Council, while removing the Army Commanders, General Commander of the Gendarmerie, Commander of the Navy as well as the four-star generals and admirals in the Armed Forces. In the absence of the Prime Minister, the Chief of General Staff can no longer preside over the Supreme Military Council meeting (Executive Decree 669 Article 45).

Previously, the Supreme Military Council used to convene twice a year, but the new amendment brought this down to once a year. The Chief of General Staff was deprived of her / his previous power to convene the Council during the rest of the year (Executive Decree 668 Article 4/4). Furthermore, a temporary additional clause has shifted the Supreme Military Council meeting from August to July in 2016.

Supreme Military Council’s duty of “expressing an opinion on other issues related to the Armed Forces when deemed necessary….”, which used to be exercised by “the Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff or Minister of National Defense”, is now limited to only the Prime Minister (Executive Decree 669 Article 46).

Supreme Military Council’s secretary general used to be the Deputy Chief of General Staff. The new amendment redefined this position as secretariat, and stipulated that the Ministry of National Defense will be in charge of this service (Executive Decree 669 Article 48). Those unable to attend the meeting will now communicate their excuse to the “Council Secretariat”, instead of to the “Council Secretary General” as before (Executive Decree 669 Article 47). Issues to be disclosed to the public used to be disseminated by the Secretary General; now however, the “Ministry of National Defense” will do so. The timing and method for ending this confidentiality will no longer be stipulated by the bylaw, but rather a regulation (Executive Decree 669 Article 49). As such, actions and procedures concerning the Supreme Military Council’s management, modus operandi and secretariat services, which used to be regulated by the bylaw of the Supreme Military Council, will now be regulated by a regulation to be issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (Executive Decree 669 Article 50).

Executive Decree 703 abolished the Law no. 1612 on the Structure and Duties of the Supreme Military Council. It was stated that the provisions of the Law would apply until the issuance of a presidential executive decree on the matter. The said executive decree was issued on July 15, 2018.

Supreme Military Council