martial law noun
: control of an area by military forces rather than by the police
: the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power
: the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when the civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety
Examples of MARTIAL LAW
- The government has imposed martial law throughout the city to stop the riots.
- an area placed under martial law
First Known Use of MARTIAL LAW
martial law noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Temporary rule of a designated area by military authorities in time of emergency when the civil authorities are deemed unable to function. Under martial law, civil rights are usually suspended, and the activities of civil courts are restricted or supplanted entirely by military tribunals. Such acts done by necessity are limited only by international law and the conventions of civilized warfare. Though temporary in theory, a state of martial law may in fact continue indefinitely. See also human rights; war crimes.
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