Saturday, September 10, 2022

RAND Corp. report on COVID-19 and courts-martial

RAND Corp. has issued a report titled Justice Must Go On: The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Military Court Operations. Excerpt:

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, however, presented new challenges for administering military justice. Personnel entrusted to oversee military courts had to quickly expand use of courtroom technology for remote proceedings and vigorously enforce public health guidance in courtrooms during in-person proceedings. When civilian courts made similar adjustments (e.g., Baldwin, Eassey, and Brooke, 2020), the transition period was described as “kind of a mess” (Thomsen, 2020). The dynamic nature of the pandemic forced both military and civilian courts to innovate quickly for the sake of keeping justice moving forward. Although the military and civilian justice systems faced similar challenges stemming from changes owing to the pandemic, the effect of the pandemic on military courts has not received as much scholarly and popular attention. This Perspective provides a preliminary examination of how the pandemic affected caseloads in the military justice system and how the military justice system adapted its operations during this time. The paper also offers several recommendations for future directions.

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