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Military law is a distinct legal system to which members of armed forces are subject. Most countries have special additional laws, and often a legal system, which are applicable to members of their military but not usually to civilians. Military law deals with issues such as; procedures for military discipline, what is or what is not a lawful command, and obligations for service personnel.
Military law, also referred to as military justice, is distinct from the imposition of military authority on a civilian population as a substitute for civil authority. This condition is generally termed martial law, and is often declared in times of emergency, war, or civil unrest. Most countries have restrictions on when martial law can be declared, and how long it can remain.
Declaration of martial law is sometimes used by dictatorships, especially military dictatorships, to enforce their rule.