Saturday, April 30, 2022

Town Hall is back!

On Monday, May 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Global Military Justice Reform will hold a Town Hall to discuss the case of Major General William T. Cooley, USAF, recently convicted of forcibly kissing his sister-in-law. He was sentenced to a reprimand and forfeiture of $54,550. Questions abound, so please come, ask, comment, kibbitz, or lurk.

Here is the link:

Global Military Justice Reform Town Hall: The Case of Major General Cooley
Monday, May 99:00 – 10:30am
Description: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 835 5574 1918 Passcode: 752334 One tap mobile +13126266799,,83555741918#,,,,*752334# US (Chicago) +16468769923,,83555741918#,,,,*752334# US (New York)

Swiss vaccine-niks' discharges upheld

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has upheld the discharge of four soldiers who refused COVID-19 vaccination. The court's press release states:

In autumn 2021, the Joint Operations Command discharged four career servicemen from the Special Military Police Detachment and Army Reconnaissance Detachment 10 for refusing the Covid-19 vaccine.

Special forces carry out missions, in Switzerland and abroad, in situations of extreme danger and great difficulty. They must be able to gather information affecting national security and to repatriate Swiss nationals and diplomatic personnel from war zone or areas of armed conflict. The employment contracts of the servicemen concerned specify that they must be always ready for deployment in such operations.

To ensure their immediate availability, members of the special forces are required by law to comply with the medical directives of the Surgeon General of the Swiss Armed Forces. In this context, the vaccination plan is designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases within the army and between military personnel and the civilian population. Any undesirable side effects are outweighed by the public interest of ensuring that the special forces can be deployed at short notice to safeguard national security and protect Swiss nationals. As a result, the Court deems that the fundamental rights invoked by the appellants were not infringed upon.

By refusing to be vaccinated for no valid medical reason, the four servicemen deliberately put themselves in a position where they could no longer perform their professional duties. The FAC therefore confirms their dismissal and rejects their appeals.

These judgments may be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.

The site provides links to the decision.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Maj Gen Cooley sentenced

Did you have a prediction about the sentence in The Case of the Kissing General?

He was today sentenced to a reprimand and forfeiture of nearly $55,000 in pay. At that, he may have a viable issue on appeal, as noted here.

Reactions anyone? (Real names only, please.)

Should court-martial trial judges be civilians?

In Thibault v. H.M. The Queen, 2022 CMAC 3 (Can. Ct. Martial App. Ct. Apr. 22, 2022), a unanimous panel of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada was, among other issues, faced once again with a claim that the National Defence Act's requirement that military judges be members of the Canadian Armed Forces violates s. 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Chief Justice B. Richard Bell wrote:

IV. Constitutionality of section 165.21 of the NDA

[43] The appellant claims that the decisions of this Court in R. v. Edwards; R. v. Crépeau; R. v. Fontaine; R. v. Iredale, 2021 CMAC 2 and R. v. Proulx; R. v. Cloutier, 2021 CMAC 3 are not determinative of this ground of appeal. The appellant states that at page 288 of R. v. Généreux, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 259, 1992 CarswellNat 668, [Antonio] Lamer C.J. found that a system in which the judges must be members of the Canadian Armed Forces is intrinsically inconsistent with paragraph 11(d) of the Charter. However, at page 295, Lamer C.J. stated that “[t]his, in itself, is not sufficient to constitute a violation of s. 11(d) of the Charter”.

[44] I also note that since Généreux, Parliament has amended the NDA several times to strengthen the independence of military judges. Bill C-25, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, 1st Session, 36th Parliament, 1998 (assented to December 10, 1998) provided a statutory basis “for independent military judges, in terms of tenure, remuneration, and removal only through an inquiry committee process” (Draft Internal Report – Court Martial Comprehensive Review, January 17, 2018 (online), at p. 38). Subsequently, Bill C-16, An Act to amend the National Defence Act (military judges), 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 2011 (assented to November 29 2011) and Bill C-15, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 2013 (assented to June 19 2013), further amended the appointment process, tenure of office, remuneration, and conditions of employment for military judges so as to ensure the independence of the judiciary.

[45] For the reasons set out in Edwards et al., supra; Proulx and Cloutier, supra; and, more recently, in R. v. Christmas, 2022 CMAC 1, and R. v. Brown, 2022 CMAC 2, I dismiss this ground of appeal.

[46] It may be that civilian judges are fit to be judges in the military justice system at the first instance level, but this decision is one for Parliament, not the judiciary, to make.

Will this case go to the Supreme Court of Canada? Will Parliament change the NDA? Should it? Note that the UK military justice system currently uses civilian trial and appellate judges, while the US system uses only military officers to preside at trial and almost invariably at the first level of appeal.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Are separate trials required where some offenses are military and others are not?

Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation has resolved an interesting jurisdictional issue. What if members of the Carabinieri commit some offenses that are triable in civilian court and others that are independent and triable in military court? Held, the military offenses stay in the military justice system. The decision is not yet on the court's website, but is summarized here (use Google Translate).

Air Force general officer convicted -- a first

Major General William T. Cooley has been convicted of one specification of abusive sexual conduct (a forced kiss of his sister-in-law's mouth and tongue), and acquitted of two other offenses. He is the first Air Force general officer to be tried by court-martial. The New York Times's Vimal Patel has the story here. After reading the article, ask yourself what sentence he should receive. Although (as the article notes) he cannot be reduced in rank by the court-martial, unless he is sentenced to a dismissal (the officer equivalent of a dishonorable discharge) he will be subject to a grade determination to decide his retired grade, which is the highest grade in which he served satisfactorily. The allegations arose in late 2019 and Maj. Gen. Cooley was relieved of command over two years ago. One does wonder why, even with the pandemic, it took so long to bring this case to trial. It doesn't seem to be an example of complex litigation. It is unclear from the Times report whether the offense had any service connection (a requirement that once did but no longer does limit court-martial subject matter jurisdiction).

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Want to be a judge?

The Indian Ministry of Defence has posted this job announcement for judicial members of the Armed Forces Tribunal. There are 12 vacancies to be filled.

Supreme Court of India quashes high profile military convictions in two separate cases

I am a bit late here, but two high profile convictions by courts-martial were set-aside by the Supreme Court of India recently.

The case of Lieutenant General SK Sahni

A three-star general was convicted by a court martial and sentenced to cashiering and three years imprisonment on charges triggered by an anonymous complaint for corruption in procuring rations for the military. The sentence was challenged before the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) but the tribunal, while upholding the conviction, reduced it to “dismissal from service”. The tribunal however recorded that there was no specific evidence that the actions of the officer had led to wrongful loss or gain to any person. Setting aside the conviction of the General and the order of the AFT, the Supreme Court observed:

“The learned AFT has specifically come to a finding that the respondent has not committed any fraud or did not commit any act which resulted in actual loss or wrongful gain to any person. We are unable to appreciate as to on what basis the learned AFT comes to a conclusion that the acts lead to an inference that the attempts were made to cause a wrongful gain. The finding as recorded by the learned AFT is totally contrary to the material placed on record”

The General has been directed to be reinstated notionally (since he had already crossed the age of superannuation) but with all consequential benefits.

More details and a news-report on the case can be accessed here.

The case of Major R Metri

In this case, an officer of the rank of Major was convicted of corruption during recruitment process of enlisted soldiers. The officer was awarded cashiering from service with one year imprisonment. On appeal to the AFT, the tribunal set-aside the conviction on charges of corruption but held him guilty under Section 63 of the Army Act, 1950 (violation of good order and discipline). On appeal, the Supreme Court has held that the entire conviction of the officer was based upon an extra-judicial confession (a confession made before an authority which is not ‘judicial’ in nature) which could not be corroborated with any evidence and has acquitted him of all charges and directed his reinstatement into the military with continuity in service.

A report on the case can be accessed here.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Fraud in the Chilean Army - Milicogate

The former Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army, General Ricardo Martinez, who resigned on March 2, 2022, is under investigation for fraud.  He resigned in order not to be the first active duty Commander in Chief under investigation.  The Special Prosecutor of the Court Martial, Romy Rutherford Parentti, has been interrogating the heads of the Chilean Armed Forces since General Pinochet, in a case known as "Fraud in the Army."  Approximately 54 former heads of the Military have been investigated for using sums of government money reserved for institutional travel for their own personal travel, visiting casinos and throwing parties and in other ways enriching themselves personally and four are considered implicated, including Martinez.  On February 14, 2022, the Supreme Court granted Romy Rutherford's request to extend her mandate to continue the investigation of the case for an additional six months.

The Special Prosecutor summoned General Martinez to her office Friday April 1, 2022 in order to interrogate him as a suspect in the case without the assistance of a lawyer.  Earlier he had sought to avoid having to appear in her office and hoped to testify at his domicile in the military base known as "Lo Curro."  His lawyer filed a writ of amparo (protection of constitutional rights), which was rejected by the Chilean Supreme Court, and after losing there, filed a motion before the Constitutional Court.  Under military law, Martinez can be summoned to declare without the assistance of a lawyer, but he has the right to maintain silence, which he did.  He was also ordered to remain in preventive detention for five days until the status of the proceedings against him were resolved.  He was subsequently released after paying one million pesos bail.

Martinez's lawyer argued that the Special Prosecutor's summoning the General to declare without the assistance of a lawyer violated his constitutional rights and also the American Convention on Human Rights, and he requested the Constitutional Court to suspend the Special Prosecutor's investigation while the protection writ was pending.  On April 6, 2022, by a vote of 3 to 2, the Constitutional Court decided not to suspend the Special Prosecutor's investigation.

On April 13, 2022, the Constitutional Court, by a vote of 4 to 1, declared Martinez's constitutional challenge admissible.  Martinez's lawyer celebrated the win, declaring that the antiquated procedures of the military justice system had to conform to international standards regarding human rights and due process guarantees.  It is not clear whether this decision to let the constitutional challenge go forward will interfere with the Special Prosecutor's investigation.

Legislators move to shift sexual harassment to special trial counsel

Rep. Jackie Speier and other federal legislators are moving to shift charging authority over sexual harassment from commanders to independent prosecutors (special trial counsel or STCs). Harassment was removed from the list of STC offenses when the FY22 NDAA was in conference. Details here.

Under an Executive Order issued by President Joe Biden on January 26, 2022, the maximum punishment for sexual harassment is two years' confinement, a dishonorable discharge, and total forfeitures.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Lieber Code

April 24, 2022, will be Lieber Day here at the bullet-resistant glass-enclosed GMJR guesthouse.

The U. S. Library of Congress writes,

On April 24, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued “General Orders No. 100: Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field,” commonly known as the “Lieber Code” after its main author Francis (Franz) Lieber. The Lieber Code set out rules of conduct during hostilities for Union soldiers throughout the U.S. Civil War. Even today, it remains the basis of most regulations of the laws of war for the United States and is referred to in the foreword to the Department of Defense Laws of War Manual. The Lieber Code inspired other countries to adopt similar rules for their military and was used as a template for international efforts in the late 19th century to codify the laws and customs of war.

New light on retiree jurisdiction

Prof. Steve Vladeck today filed this post-argument letter with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Larrabee v. Del Toro. At issue is whether it is constitutional to try a retiree by court-martial. The new research--a paper by Major Marc J. Emond--called to the court's attention can be found here on SSRN. (Disclosure: the Editor is one of Mr. Larrabee's attorneys.)

Off-duty consensual gay sex not criminal in ROK armed forces

“The specific ideas of what constitutes as indecency has changed accordingly with the changes in time and society,” [South Korean Chief Justice Kim Myeong-su] said in a decision that was broadcast online. “The view that sexual activity between people of the same sex is a source of sexual humiliation and disgust for objective regular people and goes against decent moral sense can hardly be accepted as a universal and proper moral standard for our times.”

From this Washington Post article by the AP's Kim Tong-Hyung

Army JAG Corps to open $7 million Advocacy Center at Ft. Belvoir

From Army public affairs:

In an effort to consolidate advocacy training for the Army’s legal professionals, the first Advocacy Center in the Department of Defense is set to open on Fort Belvoir in early May.

According to Lt. Col. Theo Voudouris, the center’s operations officer, the advocacy center is a new initiative, started by the previous Judge Advocate General of the Army.

Now, construction on the center is finished, with equipment expected soon at the facility, across Belvoir’s Gunston Road from Bldg. 1450, the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency. The center is housed in what used to be Belvoir’s Kawamura Human Performance Center.

“The advocacy center will synchronize all advocacy training, within one facility on Belvoir,” Voudouris said. “This will serve as a centralized location for members of the Army JAG Corps, worldwide, to attend training courses in civil and military justice litigation. The center will also have seven, state-of-the-art courtrooms for training and mock trials.

“This new facility is in line with the Secretary of the Army’s priorities to combat sexual assault and enhance military justice capabilities, merging all advocacy training into one facility,” he said.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

CAAF 4-judge-bench denials of petitions for review since August 1, 2021 [updated]

as of April 18, 2022.

New visitors to Global Military Justice Reform may be scratching their heads about the series of 4-judge-bench posts. Here's the background. 

Since August 1, 2021, one of the five seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has been vacant due to the expiration of the term of office of Chief (now Senior) Judge Scott W. Stucky. 

One of the court's key functions is to rule on petitions for grant of review. This is a very important function because unless the court grants a petition, the petitioner cannot even ask for review by the Supreme Court of the United States (a right granted to all other state and federal court litigants). 

By custom, two votes are required to grant review by the Court of Appeals. When there are five judges, that means that the agreement of 40% of the judges is required for a grant of review. When there is a vacancy, two votes are still required, but the 40% requirement has jumped by one-quarter to 50%. In other words, it is harder to get a grant of review. 

A fifth set of eyes and ears reviewing a petition may identify some issue or aspect of the case that the other four may have missed. 

The court could cure this problem simply by asking one of its eight senior judges to function on petitions, just as senior judges have been filling out the bench on granted cases. Or it could ask that some Article III judge be assigned to sit by designation for this purpose. Or it could simply hold any petition for which there are not currently two votes to grant until the current vacancy has been filled--or any petition that the petitioner asks be held pending filling of the fifth seat. It has done none of these things. 

A nomination for the vacancy is currently pending in the Senate.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Veterans on the Supreme Court: now there will be only one

Matthew N. Preston, an Army veterans who is clerking on a federal district court, says in USA Today that it's a bad thing for there to be so few veterans on the Supreme Court. (When Justice Stephen Breyer retires at the end of the Term, the only one left will be Justice Samuel Alito.) He writes:

Having no veterans on the Supreme Court would omit viewpoints grounded in core military values. In reviewing Supreme Court opinions, I found that veterans on the court often invoked military values of "integrity" and "respect." For example, numerous articles cited Justice Anthony Kennedy's repeated appeals to these values, not only in his chambers and among his colleagues, but also for the cases before him and the people involved.

He asks: "Will the next Supreme Court justice be a veteran, or is the court on the verge of becoming a nonveteran echo chamber for years, perhaps decades, to come?"

Echo chamber? Viewpoints grounded in core military values?

FWIW, Justice Kennedy served in the California Army National Guard in 1961-62. Justice Alito went through ROTC at Princeton and served on active duty for three months after law school. Justice Breyer served on active duty for six months, also followed by reserve time.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Disproportionate use of military justice against members of the Guardia Civil

The Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) has this report on the surprising frequency and severity with which members of Spain's Guardia Civil are punished under military law -- considerably more often and more harshly than members of the country's three armed forces. Excerpt:

Guardia Civil
Ejército de Tierra
Ejército del Aire

CAAF 4-judge-bench denials of petitions for review since August 1, 2021 [updated]


as of April 13, 2022.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Due process in Chile's uniformed national prison service

The Gendarmes of Chile are men and women who are trained to work primarily in prisons and to assist former prisoners with their reintegration into society.  They are also trained to perform humanitarian assistance during situations of emergency.  The most recent class of Gendarmería graduates was comprised of 43% women, an annually growing number of female graduates.

In one recent case, a female Gendarme was given provisional early retirement in 2018, which after three years became permanent, before the criminal charges that triggered the provisional early retirement were resolved.  The Regional Prosecutor of Valparaiso had investigated her from March 2018 until May 2019, when he informed the Court that he was not going to continue to pursue the case.  The Gendarme claimed that her forced retirement was arbitrary and illegal and had automatically become permanent after three years and filed an appeal with the Gendarmería that sought her reinstatement with back salary and benefits.

She appealed to protect her constitutional rights and the Appeals Court held that she was entitled to a decision of the Gendarmería within 90 days following the notification of the Appeals Court's judgment.  The Gendarmería was obliged to produce a decision on the criminal charges that had been filed against her that led to her forced retirement.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Jury unanimity case to be argued this Thursday before en banc Army Court

The oral argument in United States v. Dial will be held at the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals courtroom at  9275 Gunston Road, Building 1450, Fort Belvoir, VA, at 10:00 a.m., this Thursday, 14 April. The courtroom is on the first floor of the building on the side closest to the parking garage.

Current COVID protocols apply. The courtroom only has 9 seats for members of the public but there is an overflow room on the 4th floor where the argument will be live-streamed. There is currently no mask requirement.

The case is before the Army Court on a government appeal under art. 62, UCMJ.

Another misuse of military courts

Radio Okapi reports that between January and March of this year, the military court of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has convicted 44 individuals for crimes against the environment. The cases were brought at the request of the Congolese Institute for the Preservation of Nature.

Under human right jurisprudence, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the  jurisdiction of military courts is reserved solely for military crimes by military personnel.

Monday, April 11, 2022

A call for reform in Chile

Prof. Andrea Ruiz Rosas has a strong op-ed in La Tercera on the need to reform Chilean military justice. She writes (per Google Translate):

The Code of Military Justice dates from 1925 and continues to this day with few reforms. It is urgent to reflect on the need for the existence of military justice and, to agree on its continuity, its scope of competence and its procedure.

With the entry into force of the Criminal Procedure Code, the inquisitorial procedure ended, except in the field of military jurisdiction, where the Public Ministry has no role.

Another point of contention is its competence, which exceeds the legal right that it seeks to protect, the security of the Nation. Military justice, if deemed necessary, should only judge soldiers accused of crimes of a military nature.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Sen. Lindsey Graham and military justice

Col. (ret) Don Christensen has written this blistering essay for Salon about Col. (ret res) Lindsey Graham, who represents South Carolina in the U.S. Senate. Excerpts:

Sen. Lindsey Graham's overall performance during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearings could be characterized as nasty political theater, or petty payback for perceived slights endured by past Republican nominees.  But when it comes to Graham's animated attacks against Judge Jackson's sentencing record of child pornographers, two words best fit the senator: total hypocrite.

* * *

An examination of Graham's Air Force service, which included time as prosecutor and appellate judge, demonstrates that he maintained close ties with the most senior members of the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. That's important because one would therefore expect Graham to be intimately aware of how the military punishes child pornography offenders, in particular those in the Air Force. One would also expect that if Graham did not like the comparatively short sentences such offenders receive in the military (which are typically much lighter than the ones handed down by Judge Jackson), he would have done something about it — for example, propose legislation to create mandatory minimums for those convicted of child pornography in the military. He did not.

* * *

Graham's indifference concerning the military's lenient treatment of child pornography, compared to his supposed disgust regarding Judge Jackson's sentencing record, is not only hypocritical. It is political theater at its worst.  How we should sentence child pornography offenders is a legitimate debate. But after decades of inaction on his part to reform the military sentencing process, Graham's sudden concern about child pornography sentencing is no more than a cheap, hypocritical and destructive attempt to score political points.

Will an Italian Navy officer accused of espionage face two trials?

We will know the answer in the case of Walter Biot when the Supreme Court of Italy renders a decision on May 31, 2022. Details here (but you'll want to use Google Translate).

Friday, April 8, 2022

Justice in War -- NIMJ/UVA Conference

The NIMJ/UVA conference has just begun. To join by zoom, you can find the link here. Don't miss it.

Deployment and commissioning of HIV+ personnel

There's been a major ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. According to NBC, Judge Leonie Brinkema has ordered "the Defense Department to end a long-standing Pentagon policy forbidding enlisted military service members from deploying in active duty outside the continental U.S. and being commissioned as officers if they have HIV. . . . Brinkema ruled that the Pentagon’s policy qualifying HIV as a chronic condition requiring a waiver was scientifically outdated and that it unfairly treated people with the virus differently from other service members living with chronic health conditions requiring routine medication."

Will the government appeal?

Thursday, April 7, 2022

The Russo-Ukrainian War (military justice)

Mikhail Benyash
Today's New York Times reports:

Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer in the southern city of Krasnodar, said he has received more than 100 requests from Russian military and national guard service members about their legal rights should they refuse to fight.

He said he was defending three national guard members who protested the decision to fire them for rejecting the order to go to Ukraine. Nine others were pressured to drop the complaints, he said. 

Baby steps in the march to progress

Congress inserted a provision in the recently passed NDAA, consummating the parental rights of cadets. According to The Hill, military students in 80% of the U.S. service academies will now be able to remain parents and students.  

Before the NDAA '22 passed, cadets could not parent or otherwise they faced the risk of expulsion and tuition repayment. The provision, sponsored by Senators Gillibrand and Cruz, allows cadets to avoid high-fee choices when deciding between children and graduation. 

Unfortunately, as the Hill points out, this policy will not apply to the Coast Guard Academy. "President Biden now has until the end of the year to implement a new policy affirming parental rights at the Merchant Marines, Air Force, West Point and Naval academies."

This division of administration is one of those things that I, personally, have to relearn every 5-10 years. For while the Coast Guard is one of the five military branches, it resides in the Department of Homeland Security.  

CAAF 4-judge-bench denials of petitions for review since August 1, 2021 [updated]


through April 6, 2022.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Military justice in Uganda

Professor Jamil D. Mujuzi of the Department of Criminal Justice and Procedure at the University of the Western Cape has just published an excellent article titled The Trial of Civilians Before Courts Martial in Uganda: Analysing the Jurisprudence of Ugandan Courts in the Light of the Drafting History of Articles 129(1)(d) and 120(a) of the Constitution.

Uganda's misuse of its military justice system, especially with respect to the trial of civilians, has been a recurring issue for Global Military Justice Reform. Congratulations to Prof. Mujuzi for shedding additional light on this subject.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Congressional meddling

A Member of Congress is attempting to influence the retail administration of military justice. This time it's Rep. Gregory Murphy, Republican of North Carolina. His correspondence is reproduced in this article.

Rep. Murphy might wish to study Max Jesse Goldberg's Yale Law Journal Note on Congressional Influence on Military Justice.

Do not harass your attorney

Two NCOs in Italy's Carabinieri have been prosecuted in civilian court in Bologna for harassing an attorney who had represented one of them. You'll need to use Google translate, but this article from ANSA tells the sordid tale. The two placed fake orders for pizza deliveries, made silent phone calls, and enrolled the victim with a marriage agency. The "GUP" (preliminary hearing judge) sentenced the two defendants to more than a year in jail and a fine of 10,000 euros, both suspended.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Will national military courts pursue war crimes allegations in the Russo-Ukrainian War?

Human Rights Watch has issued this statement concerning allegations of war crimes committed by Russian Army personnel in Ukraine.

For your military justice bookshelf

Professor Nigel D. White's book Military Justice The Rights and Duties of Soldiers and Government can now be ordered. Former UK Judge Advocate General His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett describes it as a "detailed and comprehensive analysis of military justice is a brilliant addition to the lexicon of academic commentary on military justice. It provides a forensic examination of the relationship between soldier and state, and does not duck the difficult issues of dealing with 'villains' who are perceived as 'heroes' by politicians and the general public."

Friday, April 1, 2022

The return of Private R

Remember Private R? He figured in the High Court of Australia's landmark court-martial jurisdiction case of Private R v. Cowen, [2020] HCA 31. The Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal has just affirmed his conviction. See Private R Army v. Chief of Army [2022] ADFDAT 1. Among the issues: did he receive effective assistance of counsel? -- a tough argument when one of the trial defense counsel is among those representing the defendant on appeal.