This year’s annual Code Committee meeting is next Tuesday, and it looks like the weather will cooperate nicely (dry, partly cloudy, and highs near 70). Like last year, I’m attending in my personal capacity, and I plan to head out for a local lunch afterward. If any readers will be at the meeting or want to link up afterward, please let me know. You can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can meet me at the meeting (I’ll be the guy in a suit sitting in the back of the room and taking notes).
Annual Code Committee meeting set for March 11, 2014. CAAF Judicial Conference to occur sometime later this spring
CAAF’s website has this notice of the annual meeting of the Code Committee on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 10 a.m.
However, the annual Judicial Conference and CLE, that was cancelled last year due to apparent budget constraints affecting many regular participants (as discussed in this post), will not occur at its traditional time in conjunction with the Code Committee meeting. Instead, according to this notice on the court’s website:
The Court’s annual Judicial Conference and Continuing Legal Education Program, which has been held in March in past years, will not take place in March this year. Efforts are being made to schedule the conference later in the spring.
The next meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel will occur on Jan. 30 at The George Washington University Law School
The Federal Register notice is out for the next public meeting of the Response Systems Panel, last discussed in this post where the No Man noted that:
DoD’s panel to study sexual assault and military justice policy is apparently meeting behind closed doors, even when hearing from just legal experts. Coverage here (US News).
The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 30, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The George Washington University Law School, Faculty Conference Center, 5th Floor, 716 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20052. The agenda is:
- 8:30 a.m.-8:40 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
- 8:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Perspectives on Commanders in the Military Justice Process from Retired and Former Military Commanders
- 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch
- 1:00 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Public Comment
- 1:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Role of the Commander Subcommittee Report to Panel
- 1:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Panel Deliberations
The next meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel will occur on December 11-12 at the University of Texas-Austin
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 included numerous provisions related to sexual assault in the military (discussed in depth in this post). Section 576 stated:
The Secretary of Defense shall establish a panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under section 920 of title 10, United States Code (article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), for the purpose of developing recommendations regarding how to improve the effectiveness of such systems.
The result is the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel (link to official website). Its next meeting will occur on December 11-12, 2013, at the University of Texas-Austin, San Jacinto Residence Hall, Multi-Purpose Room 0207, 309 E 21st Street, Austin, TX 78705. The meeting is open to the public.
Further details including the meeting’s agenda are available in this public notice in the Federal Register.
First, in case you are looking to change jobs or for something to do after you successfully defend against removal from your job and an improper mental health referral, CAAF has job openings, here.
Odd reports comesng out on the DOD IG’s potential resolution of Maj Weirick’s complaint against the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Here is a Marine Corps Times story relating a WSJ story and why it is that the DOD IG investigation only addresses favoritism allegations and not the broader unlawful command influence allegations.
Sen. Kirsten Gillinrand’s alternative legislation to amendt the UCMJ failed to make it to a vote. See Rochester Democrat report here. The Senate will take up the Authorization bill and possibly her amendment on Dec 9th.
Another Navy officer’s career is tanked by the Fat Leonard bribery scandal, here.
Some lawmakers are concerned about. unscrupulous consumer practices, particularly home lending, targeting servicemembers, here.
TWIMJ Addendum: Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel
I just discovered this Federal Register Notice of a significant military justice event this Thursday and Friday.
A meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel (“the Panel”) will be held November 7-8, 2013. The Public Session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. on November 7, 2013, and will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 5:45 p.m. on November 8, 2013.
Location: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Avenue NW., Courtroom #20, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001.
The Panel has a website: http://responsesystemspanel.whs.mil/
The agenda for this week’s meeting:
November 7, 2013
8:30 a.m.-8:35 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
8:35 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Subcommittee Briefing
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Overview of DoD Victim Services and Sexual Assault Reporting Statistics Update
DoD SAPRO representatives
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.Victim Service Programs
SAPR representatives from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.Lunch
12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Victim Service Provider Perspectives
Service victim advocate, sexual assault response coordinator, and victim witness liaison representatives
Civilian community victim advocates
2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Advocacy Organization Perspectives
Military victim advocacy organizations
National crime victim and sexual assault organizations
4:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Comments from Public
November 8, 2013
8:25 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Sexual Assault Survivor Perspectives
Survivors of sexual assault
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Services Special Victims’ Counsel Programs
Representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.Civilian Perspectives on Victim Participation
Civilian sexual assault prosecutors
Civilian victim attorneys
2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.Defense Bar Perspectives
Defense representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard
Civilian defense attorneys
4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.Comments from Public
4:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m.Panel Deliberations
A tipster notes an interesting panel at the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Sixth Annual Fall Institute this week, agenda here. At 4:00 pm on Oct. 31 at the Omni Shoreham (DC) (registration required) is this offering:
Does Our Military Justice System Need to Change?
The panel will discuss whether the commander should be relieved of the responsibility for the preferral of charges in the military justice system and, if so, what type of prosecutorial official should be substituted for the commander. Discussion will focus on how large a change this would be in the military, what other countries have done, and whether changes made by other countries could or should be a model for the United States.
The panel should have a healthy debate as it features NIMJ luminaries Stephen Saltzburg and Gene Fidell and John Altenburg and Dean Lisa Schenck.
In related news, the promotion of LTG Susan Helms is still on hold without any additional explanation from Capitol Hill. See Air Force Times coverage here. You’ll recall that General Helms nomination to head Space Command was put on hold after Sen Claire McCaskilll discovered That General Helms ser aside a sexual assault conviction in her current role as head of the 4th Air Force. General Hwlms is one of the most decorated astronauts in the military and, new tact I didn’t know, holds the world’s record for longest space walk.
AP via the Honolulu Star Advertiser, here, reports here that Marine Corps Master Sergeant Nathaniel Cosby will be court-martialed for the murder of a prostitute in Waikiki.
Drop me an email (email@example.com) if you’ll be at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco and would be interested in a gathering of MilJus folks either Friday (Aug. 9) or Saturday (Aug. 10) night at a local establishment to be named later.
From the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Year of the Military Woman Speaker Series, a presentation on “Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.” Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., at the Navy Memorial:
This very timely program, a panel discussion with senior leaders from each of the services, will address the steps taken to combat sexual harassment and assault in the military. A reception will precede the panel discussion and begin at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required as seating is limited.
Congress created the Code Committee in Article 146 (10 U.S.C. § 946) and mandated that it “shall meet at least annually and shall make an annual comprehensive survey of the operation of this chapter.” The committee consists of the judges of CAAF, each service JAG and the SJA to the CMC, and two members of the public appointed by SECDEF.
It met on March 5, 2013, the meeting was open to the public, and I had the opportunity to attend. I’ve been carrying around my notes since then, but am taking some time this weekend to catch up on a number of projects and want to share my notes with you.
The meeting began with an extensive brief from the Joint Services Committee. The brief followed a handout that I’ve uploaded here (~2 MB PDF). My notes include:
- Discussion of changing the standard in MRE 505 to incorporate the involvement of a knowledgeable U.S. official (bringing the MRE in line with language used in the Military Commission Rules of Evidence).
- Discussion of a rewrite of MRE 412 to incorporate CAAF’s opinions in Gaddis and Ellerbrock. Apparently, the JSC drafted a “legally-accurate” rewrite that was rejected by the National Security Council because it didn’t do enough to protect the privacy rights of an alleged victim.
- A reminder that the MRE will automatically incorporate the recent changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence on June 1, 2013.
- Discussion of the question of the maximum authorized punishment for Article 120 (2012), considering the lack of an Executive Order establishing a maximum. My notes include this: “No punishment?”
- The JSC has proposed (or is considering proposing) an a new enumerated offense under Art. 134 for indecent conduct (returning to the pre-2007 status quo for this offense). Judge Ryan wondered if Congress didn’t preclude this offense by an express omission from the newest iteration of Art. 120.
- Discussion of a House Armed Services Committee letter to the JSC expressing concern that the military is “woefully inadequate” in prosecuting sexual assault cases when compared to out civilian counterparts. There’s both a JSC study and a NDAA-appointed panel looking at this issue (my notes include “sexual assault comparative study group; 4-month,” but I’m not sure if this is the JSC study or the NDAA panel).
- Someone in Congress wants an enumerated hazing offense (I feel like we covered this in a recent post, but can’t find it). JSC opposes (note page 9 of the JSC handout linked above).
- Concern about restricted reports of sexual assault allegations, specifically in the context of a failure of government officials to preserve potentially-exculpatory evidence when a restricted report eventually leads to a criminal prosecution.
A good deal more was discussed and the handout is pretty self-explanatory. Check it out.
The JAGs then all took a turn. My notes include:
- The AF JAG announced that the AFCCA is getting additional judges to help with the backlog.
- The Navy JAG announced a new program for new Navy judge advocates: Their first two years on active duty will consist of four 6-month tours in the various practice areas. My notes include, in big block-type, “no detailed cases during this.” It seems that joining the Navy in order to get into the courtroom right out of law school is no longer an option…
- The Army JAG talked a lot about training, which prompted a question about equality of training opportunities between the prosecution and defense functions. He replied that all training is job neutral.
- The SJA to the CMC discussed the growth of the Marine Corps judge advocate community, from 435 active duty officers to 569 over the course of two years. He also described last year’s reorganization as designed to “get the right counsel on the right case with the right experience.”
Apologies to the Coast Guard, as I failed to take notes during the CG JAG’s comments.
Then Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF (Ret.), a civilian member of the committee, got a turn. He also submitted a letter to the committee, which I have uploaded here. The committee then adjourned.
Update: A reader provides a clean copy of MajGen Dunlap’s letter (which includes numerous hyperlinks) and the attachments. It’s uploaded here. Thank you!
I’d never been to CAAF before this, and I had a chance to meet some of the extraordinary people who work there and at the JSC. The meeting was incredibly informative. Unfortunately, it was sparsely attended by non-participants, likely because of the cancellation of CAAF’s judicial conference that was scheduled for the following two days. Or maybe it’s because our planned happy hour was also cancelled. But it was worth the trip and I can already recommend that anyone interested in military justice attend next year’s meeting.
LTC Grimes is discussing his Ethics in Military Justice course at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School on 31(b)log. It’s not quite a MOOC, but he’s using the blog and Twitter to share the syllabus and open the discussion. Check it out.
Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal will be doing another book talk about his recently published book about the military commission system. Tomorrow night from 1830 to 1930, the University of California Washington Center will present a conversation between Bravin and Professor Mikchael Shenkman of UCDC and Colombia Law School. The event will be at 1608 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036. Here’s a link to the event’s website.
Jess Bravin, who has broken several important stories as the Wall Street Journal‘s military commissions beat reporter, whill discuss his new book The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay at 1900 on Wednesday, 20 February at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., N.W. (202-364-1919).
Here’s an excerpt from the book description:
While much has been written about Guantanamo and brutal detention practices following 9/11, Bravin is the first to go inside the Pentagon’s prosecution team to expose the real-world legal consequences of those policies. Bravin describes cases undermined by inadmissible evidence obtained through torture, clashes between military lawyers and administration appointees, and political interference in criminal prosecutions that would be shocking within the traditional civilian and military justice systems.
CAAFs website now confirms that the judicial conference has been canceled–an apparent victim of the services’ inability to fund attendance due to sequestration concerns.
We received word today that CAAF’s 6-7 March Judicial Conference has been canceled due to the effects of sequestration. But CAAF’s website still has a conference schedule posted. We’ll follow up once we’ve confirmed one way or the other.