|Dean Elizabeth L. Hillman|
Few legal issues have sustained the political attention and cultural currency of sexual assault in the U.S. armed forces, Hillman says. Her presentation will address controversies that have erupted over the problem itself, which is often misunderstood; best practices and prospects for improving response systems to reports of sexual assault in both civilian and military arenas; and the unique nature of the American military justice system, which has been changed more in response to sexual assault than to any other crime, social problem, or disciplinary challenge since World War II.
Some of the questions she plans to address: "Should commanders control the decision to prosecute? Should each branch of service retain its own investigators, prosecutors, defense counsel, and appellate court? What's the impact of providing legal counsel to victims throughout the criminal justice process? What outcomes demonstrate improvement in preventing a crime that is so rarely reported? How do the gender demographics of the military affect sexual assault prevalence?"Dean Hillman served in the U.S. Air Force. She holds both a law degree and a Ph.D. in History, and is a member of the Defense Department's Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel. She is the immediate past president of the National Institute of Military Justice (NIMJ).