Friday, June 7, 2024

Proposed rule changes at CAAF

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has issued a set of proposed changes to its Rules of Practice and Procedure. Links to the Federal Register notice and the text of the proposed changes (which are too lengthy to publish in Fed. Reg.) can be found here. Comments are due by July 8, 2024. If you comment, please upload a copy to Global Military Justice Reform using the comments function.

The 2025 (24th) edition of the unofficial Guide to the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces will reflect the changes the court ultimately adopts and any Rules Advisory Committee explanatory comments. If you hold a copy of this year's (23d) edition, which will be available shortly, you may want to retain it for historical references.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Supreme Court of Canada - Applications for leave to appeal dismissed

In an unsurprising development, this morning, on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) dismissed four applications for leave to appeal judgments from the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.  All four judgments concerned the independence of military judiciary, a topic that was the subject of the recent SCC judgment in R v Edwards, 2024 SCC 15.

Corporal (Ret’d) Ryan Wade Cookson v. His Majesty the King

Naval Cadet Remington v. His Majesty the King

Sergeant V.N.E. Turner v. His Majesty the King

Soldat Mohammad El Zein v. His Majesty the King

Secret Navy Chief's decision in Pakistan Navy capital cases

From this article in Dawn:

“The question before the court is as to how the interests of the state are to be balanced against the interests of an individual to his right to live as well as his right to due process guaranteed by Articles 9 and 10A of the Constitution.

“It appears to be the contention of the state is that given the opinion of the chief of naval staff that proceedings and reasoning for passing the death sentence cannot be shared with those against whom such death sentences have been passed, they have no further remedy under the law and the Constitution.

“The question therefore arises as to how the interests of the state in secrecy are to be balanced against the interests of a citizen to be informed of the reasons for which the state has decided to hang him and to provide him the relevant reasoning and material to be able to defend himself,” the order reads.

It directed that “given that the fundamental question of protection of right to life and due process is in question, the petitioners shall not be executed till the disposal of the petition.”

The order instructed the respondents to file the naval chief’s opinion within three weeks, along with the reasoning, about why he formed the opinion that sharing the proceedings about the petitioners would be detrimental to the state’s interests.

The accuseds' executions have been stayed.

H/T to Cdr. Phil Cave for the link.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Death of a recruit on a training march -- which court tries the case?

That is the question posed by this current Chilean case. Google Translate does a good job with this article. Stand by for further developments.

Alabama Code of Military Justice amended

Act No. 2024-329, recently signed into law, amends the Alabama Code of Military Justice. The states continue to go their own ways in military justice, departing frequently from the federal Uniform Code of Military Justice and from one another.

Links to other state codes can be found on the website of the National Institute of Military Justice.