Drafters of international humanitarian law (IHL) treaties clearly envisaged a role for military justice systems in the implementation and enforcement of these treaties. Nevertheless, the adequacy of military jurisdiction over violations of international law is being questioned in certain spheres. In the context of these debates this article considers the domestic rationale for military justice systems and explores the role and limits of military jurisdiction in combating impunity for violations of IHL. In focusing on the need to effectively repress and suppress all violations of IHL, the article addresses the extent to which some sort of military justice may be necessary for the effective enforcement of certain provisions. It also explores the way in which increased scrutiny of the impact of these justice systems on the rights of individuals has led to restrictions on the format and scope of military jurisdiction. Although there are difficulties in internationalising the discussion on military jurisdiction because of differences in domestic legal traditions, the choice of effective IHL enforcement mechanisms, which includes the choice of military or civilian jurisdiction, is key in combating impunity for violations of this body of law and protecting the rights of those involved.