Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Military justice at a turning point: the changing role of command

ThinkTech Hawaii CEO (and quondam military judge) Jay M. Fidell  conducts an interview with the Editor on current issues in American military justice.

Another county heard from

This evening, Global Military Justice Reform has had a hit from our 189th jurisdiction: São Tomé & Principe. Welcome aboard. We are about five months from hitting the million-hit mark.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Italian Air Force hazing case

Eight sergeants in the Italian Air Force are facing trial on hazing charges. The trial has been delayed due to COVID-19 concerns. Three astronauts are on the witness list. Details here. Excerpt (Google translation):

Among the parties called into question also the Ministry of Defense, cited as civilian responsible for failure to supervise the behavior of non-commissioned officers and their behavior that had to be part of the traditional baptism of flight but which instead would have "offended the prestige, honor and dignity of the pupil, using violence and causing multiple bruises." According to [former officer candidate Julia] Schiff's lawyers who filed a civil action, that rite was carried out in a consolidated manner and the superiors did nothing to prevent this from happening.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Defense Minister defends military judicial independence in Tunisia

A military court in Tunisia has issued a warrant for the arrest of a member of parliament. Asked about the matter during a committee hearing, Defense Minister Brahim Bartagi said the military court is independent, according to this account. Excerpt:

"Being a department which is part of the executive power, the Ministry of National Defense cannot interfere in the legislative and the current affairs", indicated the minister. And to add, “military justice is governed by legal texts contained in the Constitution”. “Although military, this does not rule out its character of an independent justice,” he explained.

When the U.S. military monitors civilians

The CATO Institute filed a FOIA lawsuit on Wednesday seeking information from the Department of Defense on domestic intelligence gathering. The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Defense, along with the U.S. Air Force, Marines, and Navy, have not reasonably searched records related to such surveillance. The suit comes on the heels of recent revelations that some states improperly used the National Guard to watch protestors following George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis policeman.  

The CATO Institute write-up explains they are looking for records related to DoD Directive 5200.27, the directive that sets “general policy, limitations, procedures, and operational guidance pertaining to the collecting, processing, storing, and disseminating of information concerning persons and organizations not affiliated with the Department of Defense.” DoD Directive 5200.27 has previously been used to disrupt lawyers providing legal services to draftees hoping to avoid Vietnam, or to monitor those protesting the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Certainly, it will be interesting to learn what records CATO can obtain, and to learn whether, and possibly to what extent, the military continues to gather intelligence on the civilian population.