Beloved CAAFlog contrarian commentator JO’C has published a piece in the online Journal of Military and Veteran Law. John F. O’Connor, Loose Canons: The CAAF’s Flawed Approach to Construing Convening Authority Actions, 1 J. Mil. & Vet. L. 9 (2007).
JO’C’s article takes issue with CAAF’s recent precedent applying the literal language of CA actions to disapprove adjudged punitive discharges where it seems apparent that the CA meant to leave the discharge approved but unexecuted. JO’C criticizes CAAF’s reliance on contract principles since the CA’s action is not an agreement between two parties, but rather the exercise of discretion by one party. He argues that a better legal analogy is the law governing donative transfers, where instruments are construed to try to give effect to the donor’s intent.
Regardless of whether you end up agreeing with JO’C’s position, the article will enlighten and challenge you. It is a fine piece of scholarship that all military justice practitioners should read. (And I love the “Loose Canons” pun in the title.)