The Joint Service Committee on Military Justice (JSC) conducts an annual review of the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM), and proposes changes to the President. Readers interested in the JSC may enjoy this 2012 three-part series of guest posts about the JSC, that described the composition, role, function, and procedures of the JSC.
Here is a link to a Federal Register notice of the 2015 annual review. Public comments must be submitted by April 6, 2015.
The public is invited to submit proposed changes to the JSC. The JSC doesn’t always address every proposal in every comment. For instance, the recent public notice of proposed changes to the MCM included this language at the end:
Several suggested changes to the MCM as well as recommended legislative changes to UCMJ articles were not contemplated in the proposals currently under review. Those suggestions will be considered in the course of the 2015 annual review of the MCM, which is required by DoD Directive 5500.17.
However, the notice of this year’s review states that it will begin with a (mostly) clean slate:
In light of the significant changes to the military justice system resulting from the National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015, the JSC will not consider proposed changes submitted prior to October 1, 2014 during this annual review. If the proponent of any proposed change submitted prior to October 1, 2014 would like a previously submitted proposal to be considered by the JSC, it must be resubmitted as explained in this notice.