Saturday, February 24, 2024

Transparency watch

When [Chief Fire Controlman (AEGIS) Bryce Steven] Pedicini will have his day in court remains unclear. The Navy’s public court docket shows a motions hearing took place on Wednesday of this week, but Naval Surface Forces officials declined to say what that hearing entailed when asked by Navy Times Thursday.

Command spokesman Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson also declined to say if or when a trial date had been set.

He also declined to say why Pedicini was being tried in the military justice system.

Not much more in this report.

Why was this case tried in military court?

From Russia, with love of unusual court procedures, a sociologist and Marxist theorist had a five-year jail sentence imposed on appeal. The state appealed a military court's decision to fine Boris Kagarlitsky 600,000 rubles ($6,600ish). The military court found Mr. Kagarlitsky guilty of "justifying terrorism" for a video he produced on the 2022 Ukranian attack of the Crimean Bridge. Unhappy with the leniency the trial court showed this civilian, the prosecutors found a more receptive bench at the military court of appeals.   

While this is not the biggest news to come out of Russia recently, it is another entry in a never-ending series at this blog, "Why was this case tried in miltiary court?"

Friday, February 23, 2024

Military justice reform "urgently needed" in Ukraine

In this Kennan Institute blog post, Armenak Ohanesian, Head of Legal Studies at the Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis of Russia (IKAR), Kyiv, argues that Ukraine's legal structure for the administration of justice in the armed forces needs a great deal of work. Excerpt:

Reforming Ukraine's military justice system can and should address both immediate and long-term needs. Enhancing the draft law to clearly articulate the functions and authority of the MJU, combined with essential Rules of Procedures and establishing credible oversight mechanisms and ethical standards, is crucial for maintaining integrity and public trust in the military justice system.

Ukraine might also seek international guidance in this regard from NATO-aligned countries to better align its military justice practices with international standards, implementing a model akin to the JAG Corps. This would not only ensure that Ukraine's military justice system was equipped to handle the complexities of modern military operations while upholding the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct, it would also reinforce Ukraine’s commitment to the rule of law and democratic values.

Reforming the military justice system in Ukraine is an urgent matter and a strategic imperative that demands immediate attention and action, of a piece with Ukraine's broader goals of democratic reform.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Polygraphs and recruitment

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a man whose acceptance by the Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force was rescinded on the ground that he had twice failed a lie detector test when seeking employment with the police. Details can be found here.

Joint Panjab University-MC Law International Seminar (Hybrid Mode) with AI in the Military as one of the themes

The Panjab University, India and the Mississippi College School of Law, USA (with active assistance of GMJR Blog editor Prof Franklin Rosenblatt) are jointly holding an International Seminar titled “IMPACT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON CONSTITUTIONALISM AND RULE OF LAW” on 29th and 30th March, 2024.

Interestingly, there is a separate theme on AI and the Military in the seminar, encompassing, amongst others, AI & Military Justice, AI & Military Strategy, and AI & Autonomy.

Papers are being accepted now.

As a special gesture, the registration fee is waived for participants from outside India.

For more details, please scan the QR Code on the poster or email at the address provided on the same.