Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Full text of 2008 MCM amendments

An alert reader provides us with this link to Executive Order 13468 of July 24, 2008, complete with the actual text of the 2008 MCM amendments.

Thanks to Executive Order 13468, the 2008 edition of the MCM that we waited three years for will become obsolete on 23 August. This raises two questions. First, the obvious one: when will the new version of the MCM -- which was supposed to be an annual Manual -- be published?

Now for the other question. When woolly mammoths roamed North America and I was a first lieutenant, the Manual for Courts-Martial was a big burgundy three-ringed binder. Every time the President would change the Manual, GPO would print up a bunch of replacement pages and we would remove the old obsolete pages from the three-ringed binder and insert the new pages. In many ways the old-style Manual was awful. The binder's rings never seemed to line up and pages would constantly tear out. But at least I always had a reasonably up-to-date Manual -- unlike modern-day military lawyers who practiced for three years using a 2005 MCM that was already OBE when it was published. So here's my question: why doesn't TJAGLCS take a break from launching sophomoric jibes at the Navy and prepare an electronic version of the 2008 MCM that deletes the obsolete provisions and incorporates the new provisions from Executive Order 13468? Wouldn't that be really helpful to every military justice practitioner? It doesn't have to be TJAGLCS -- I'd be happy if anyone did it. Well, anyone other than whoever designed the new extremely user unfriendly electronic Military Judges' Benchbook that we can't get authorization to load onto our office computers.


Publius said...

I concur, in part.

The loose-leaf MCMs were easy to update and we didn't have to wait so long for the changes to be published. However, if you needed to know what the law was before the change, it was difficult to find out. The paperback MCMs were a good idea. As you noted, we were supposed to get a new one each year, or at least shortly after each change to the MCM was made. With the cost of publishing that was never going to happen.

I like the suggestion for at least electronic versions of the updated MCM in the interim. Perhaps it would be helpful if, rather than just making the changes, the 2008 MCM and the 2008 revised edition both be posted. That way, if you needed the original version for some reason, it would be readily available.

I suggest the electronic MCMs be labeled
2008.1 and 2008.2, etc.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome.

I would have e-mailed this to you rather then posted it in a comment, but I couldn't find your e-mail address on the side bar.

Anonymous said...

Why not send our a supp? They do that in CIVLAW. Many books get supp updates until a new edition comes out. Seems like an easy fix alternative to the electronic version.

Anonymous said...

The Army can only do so much. Maybe the other services could step up to the plate and publish it.