Saturday, March 15, 2014

Someone should do a book review of the Code Committee's FY13 Annual Report

You won't read it here, but someone should actually do one. It's a fascinating snapshot. Take a look. The caseload charts show the anemic master docket of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which conducted 36 oral arguments in all of FY13 (at 21). The report of the Judge Advocate General of the Army includes this startling information (at 41):
"In 2013, state courts-martial continued at a modest pace with four states conducting a total of eight general courts-martial (GCM[s]) and three special courts-martial (SPCM[s]). Seven of the eight GCMs and one SPCM resulted in acquittals, were withdrawn after defense motions, or were overturned on appeal."
What's that about? The Army report also refers (at 34) to the fact that the General Officer Legal Orientation Course (GOLO) "is provided individually to General Officers." It would be interesting to see the teaching materials for that course. Oddly, all of the other legal orientation courses "are taught using a sexual assault fact pattern."

The report of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy has a section on the Assistant Judge Advocate General, Chief Judge, Department of the Navy (CJDON). It explains (at 63) that "[t]he CJDON is selected by a competitive flag selection board and serves for three years, with appointment as the Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy in the third year of service." But wait a minute. Navy and Marine trial and appellate military judges don't have even the regulation-based, loopholey three-year terms enjoyed by Army and Coast Guard judges. If the CJDON can have a fixed term, why not the rest of the Navy-Marine bench? Or is the "serves for three years" simply a custom without any formal guarantee?

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