Even If it Ain't Broke, Why Not Fix it?
Journal of National Security Law & Policy, Vol. 6, 2013
37 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2013 Last revised: 1 May 2013
Date Written: April 17, 2013
This article considers three reforms that would improve the fairness of military justice while preserving the values reflected in maintaining a separate system of justice for those in uniform. The resilience of the military justice system is in large measure a result of two important influences. First, the rights provided by the system have been responsive to societal evolutions, ensuring that good order and discipline is achieved through a process considered fundamentally fair by participants within the system and observers without. Second, this resilience is a result of the continual efforts by military law experts to critique existing rules and recommend important adjustments to substantive and procedural aspects of military law.
In the spirit of these influences, this article will propose what the authors believe are three important changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice: (1) incorporating a no adverse inference warning into Article 31(b) (the military version of Miranda warnings); (2) transforming the Article 32 pre-trial investigation into more of a preliminary hearing type process; and (3) expressly enumerating a limited category of offenses applicable to civilians accompanying the force in the field. Military justice reform continues to be an important and topical issue and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future as our country continues to deploy forces throughout the world.
Keywords: UCMJ, Military Justice, Militasry Justice Reform, Miranda
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