Friday, January 30, 2015


Yesterday, Global Military Justice Reform's tracking system revealed that we had had our first reader from Honduras, giving us hits from 135 countries in a little over a year. For whatever reason, this landmark -- coupled with the dramatic developments in Pakistan and elsewhere -- caused the editor to think back to 1991, when Rear Admiral (ret) John S. Jenkins, Professor Stephen A. Saltzburg, Commander (ret) Philip D. Cave, the late and deeply-missed Captain (ret) Kevin J. Barry, and the editor gathered at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C. to create the National Institute of Military Justice (NIMJ).* Happily, NIMJ has proved to be an enduring organization, now on its third generation of leaders.

In the ensuing quarter century it has become increasingly apparent that the United States is not the only country in the world that can benefit from an nongovernmental organization of lawyers who are well-versed in military justice and committed, as NIMJ is, to improving both the administration of justice in the armed forces and public understanding of the military justice system. Thus far, however, we have not seen the rise of comparable organizations in most other countries, although important steps have been taken, such as the creation of the Association of Military Court Advocates in the UK and the Armed Forces Tribunal Bar Association in India, and blogs such as that edited by Major (ret) Navdeep Singh.

Can more be done in these and other countries? The fact that a blog such as this proves to be of interest to individuals in 135 countries suggests that the answer is Yes. Will the next, say, five years witness the establishment of a crop of independent (i.e., not dominated by government) national military justice institutes dedicated to improvement, fairness, transparency and, ultimately, structural reform? Which country will be next? Practitioners and professors: the floor is open . . .

* Global Military Justice Reform is completely independent of NIMJ.

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