A Military Justice Solution in Search of a Problem: A Response to Vladeck
The Georgetown Law Journal Online, Vol. 104-29
19 Pages Posted: 3 May 2015 Last revised: 8 May 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
In “Military Courts and Article III,” law professor Steve Vladeck proposes a wholesale replacement of the foundation upon which court-martial jurisdiction has stood since the inception of the United States. In an effort to provide a unifying theory grounded in international law, Professor Vladeck fails to properly distinguish the jurisdiction established by Congress to regulate the armed forces from the jurisdiction established to punish violations of the laws of war. This conflation yields confusion about military jurisdiction which ripples throughout the theory. Our response, which centers on courts-martial, argues that Professor Vladeck has offered a solution in search of a problem. Moreover, Professor Vladeck’s analysis fails to acknowledge the importance of deference to Congress’s exercise of its war powers, and the resonance of U.S. and English history familiar to the Framers. We write to clarify the categories of military jurisdiction, their basis, and their rationale.
Keywords: military justice, court-martial, military courts, article III, Uniform code of military justice, UCMJ, international law, law of armed conflict, commission, military, tribunal, law of war, occupation
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