Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This just in: US military justice system is prefect

As the July 1 deadline for comments to the Military Justice Review Group approaches (yes, you can make suggestions anytime, but DoD has requested that interested parties do so by then), presumably the letters and emails from bar groups, NGOs, and other interested parties will start to trickle in. Emails can be sent to osd.ucmj@mail.mil.

Now that its website is up and running, the Review Group should post the comments received from the public and the two senior advisors as they come in, in the interest of transparency and to facilitate informed debate. If you submit comments, please also upload them here using Global Military Justice Reform's comment function so everyone will have the benefit of your thinking, possibly sparking additional suggestions from others. To help get your juices flowing, how about these suggestions?


  1. On CAAFlog, there was a discussion about Article 12 in the context of some upcoming oral argument on 4 Jun. I mentioned that I had submitted a proposal to the MJRG concerning Art 12 and it was suggested that I post that here. Below is what I submitted by email to the MJRG.

    I would like to submit the following proposal to the Military Justice Review Group (MJRG to) to amend Article 12:

    Article 12 (10 USC 812) currently reads as follows: “No member of the armed forces may be placed in confinement in immediate association with enemy prisoners or other foreign nationals not members of the armed forces.”

    The phrase “other foreign nationals” generates needless litigation and argument in the context of military personnel confined in civilian facilities (at least in the United States). It also results in confinement credit to accused in some cases. For example, see United States v. Towhill, ACM 37695 (AFCCA 2012) (unpublished); United States v. Wilson, 73 M.J. 529 (AFCCA 2014).

    It is odd that a civilian United States citizen can be confined in a civilian facility in association with foreign nationals with no need to award some confinement credit, but a member of the armed forces in the same situation warrants reduction to the length of confinement. The reason for the rule makes sense for facilities outside the United States, but not for those inside the United States.

    Recommend Article 12 be modified to read: “No member of the armed forces may be placed in confinement in immediate association with enemy prisoners or, when the place of confinement is outside the United States, its territories, or possessions, in immediate association with foreign nationals.”

    Thank you for considering this proposal.

    1. Thanks for sharing your submission to the Military Justice Review Group.


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