Wednesday, January 02, 2008

All quiet on the E Street front revisited

Your entries in the 2007 military justice story of the year contest confirmed that 2007 was a rather unexciting year in military justice land.

The best suggestion was that of the No Man, who thought that the series of acquittals and convictions with light sentences in Iraq war crimes cases was the story of the year. There is actually a growing body of academic commentary criticizing the military justice system not as a ham handed tool of military commanders (the prevailing attack in the pre-Solorio era), but rather as a benighted system that undervalues the lives of foreign civilians and fails to hold servicemembers responsible for war crimes.

The second best suggestion was that the story of the year is the new Article 120, which has been confusing military justice practitioners worldwide since 1 October 2007.

BUT both of those suggestions were made after the contest's deadline had passed. So the t-shirt goes to JO'C, who has the distinction of being the ONLY person to make a non-anonymous suggestion before the contest ended. JO'C, what size t-shirt would you like?


John O'Connor said...

No Man sent me a CAAFlog T-Shirt gratis some time ago, so I'll take that one in lieu. (I can only wear it in my house lest someone think I'm a subversive).

Anonymous said...

Good point on the "ham-handed tool" v. "benighted system" debate emerging from the Iraq prosecutions. The latter view seems to have influenced much of the UK's recent military justice reforms, following on the controversy that arose from some of the verdicts and sentences there.

Interesting then that the fix was the same as has been long advocated by the "ham-handed tool" set: reducing or eliminating the role of military commanders within the system and transferring their authority and responsibility to others deemed more independent and impartial.