Back in June, in this post, I discussed the military justice provisions in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The separate bills went to a conference committee. The Committee’s report was just published and is available here.

The text of the NDAA approved by the Committee contains numerous military justice provisions. I’ve excerpted them into a separate document available here. The provisions are:

Enforcement of certain crime victim rights by the Court of Criminal Appeals (sec. 531)

Department of Defense civilian employee access to Special Victims’Counsel (sec. 532)

Authority of Special Victims’ Counsel to provide legal consultation and assistance in connection with various government proceedings (sec. 533)

Timely notification to victims of sex-related offenses of the availability of assistance from Special Victims’ Counsel (sec. 534)

Additional improvements to Special Victims’ Counsel program (sec.535)

Enhancement of confidentiality of restricted reporting of sexual assault in the military (sec. 536)

Modification of deadline for establishment of Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces (sec. 537)

Improved Department of Defense prevention and response to sexual assaults in which the victim is a male member of the Armed Forces (sec. 538)

Preventing retaliation against members of the Armed Forces who report or intervene on behalf of the victim of an alleged sexrelated offense (sec. 539)

Sexual assault prevention and response training for administrators and instructors of Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (sec. 540)

Retention of case notes in investigations of sex-related offenses involving members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps (sec. 541)

Comptroller General of the United States reports on prevention and response to sexual assault by the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve (sec. 542)

Improved implementation of changes to Uniform Code of Military Justice (sec. 543)

Modification of Rule 104 of the Rules for Courts-Martial to establish certain prohibitions concerning evaluations of Special Victims’Counsel (sec. 544)

Modification of Rule 304 of the Military Rules of Evidence relating to the corroboration of a confession or admission (sec. 545)

The bill is H.R.1735. You can follow it here.

8 Responses to “Military justice provisions in the FY16 NDAA Conference Report”

  1. Vulture says:

    So K. Fisher,  the answer to your question about if anyone in Congress cares about the rights of the Accused in sexual assault cases would be “No.”

  2. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    I would say with improving response to sexual assault where the victim is male, that could be interpreted as acknowledging men CAN be victims in heterosexual assault cases.

  3. Vulture says:

    Tami.  Of course, and not just from females.  I remember that when the US was gearing up for a protracted conflict that so many people were cold to getting into it.  But everyone said they where going to support the troops, right?  A lot of pledges came out of Congress that servicemen/women would not be left out in the cold.  So, is Congress now keeping it’s promise in a way?

  4. Alfonso Decimo says:

    I find it interesting the MCIOs are apparently now required to keep agent notes as part of the record. In my experience, if the agent was satisfied the facts contained in the notes had been incorporated into the report, the notes could be discarded like other working files. This change should inure to the benefit of the defense team.

  5. Monday morning QB says:

    Vulture, you can rest assured military judges care about the rights of an accused in a sexual assault case. It will be interesting to see how the trial judiciaries and the CCAs address these issues when the defense raises it in terms of a denial of due process, because that’s really where relief might come.

  6. Concerned defender says:

    Going forward, I might believe the best response for any male individual wrongly accused of rape by a female to immediately report that he is in fact the victim – and frankly most of my clients could have been the victim since both parties were equally drunk.  It would not be a lie, since he would be “victimized” by the female filing a false report relating to the sex, to which he would not have consented to had he been fully “informed” (of her mentally unstable condition and propensity to be crazy and “lie.”)  That’d throw the system in a tizzy.  *This is sarcasm if nobody here understands, and not serious.

    Vulture, you can rest assured military judges care about the rights of an accused in a sexual assault case.

    Sadly, I’m thinking of at least two MJs that I practiced before (one who has been overturned a LOT), I rarely felt he genuinely gave a rat’s bottom about the accused on any 120 or 125 allegation.  It appeared quite clear to me that an accusation was good enough, in his eyes… oh well.  It’s just freedom, liberty, justice, rights… maybe I’m over-reacting.

  7. stewie says:

    Haven’t had a chance to open…on surface looks like minor stuff, what am I missing?

  8. k fischer says:

    I love your sense of humor.  That’s exactly why I don’t go judge alone on a case b/c the thought of relying on the MJ’s to ensure that the accused’s rights are protected leaves me a little restless.  For instance, had all the judges did was MJ Marcus Fulton did regarding punitive discharges after POTUS declared an inflexible position towards sex offenses, then I might have some confidence.  But, I think that he was the only one to stick his neck out.  Anybody know what happened in that case?