Journal Article

Starting from Scratch: The Military Discipline System of the East Timor Defence Force

J. McClelland

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 7, issue 2, pages 253-274
Published in print October 2002 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online October 2002 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI:
Starting from Scratch: The Military Discipline System of the East Timor Defence Force

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The Forças de Defesa de Timor Lorosa'e (East Timor Defence Force) was established on 1 February 2001 from ex‐members of FALINTIL, the guerilla army that had fought against Indonesia's military during its repressive regime in the period 1975–1999. Many challenges faced the new defence force in its transition to a peacetime conventional defence force. With the assistance of a staff of international advisers the defence force began its slow and often difficult transition.

The rigorous and effective yet ad hoc discipline operated in the mountains would be inadequate in addressing the disciplinary issues of a barrack‐based defence force. A system that withstood scrutiny from the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor but was swift and efficient in maintaining discipline would be required.

This paper examines the approach to the creation and implementation of a system of military discipline for the new defence force that was relevant to its size, reflective of its history and ethos and able to guarantee the fundamental rights of those soldiers accused of breaching service discipline.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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