Status of the 2016 NDAA

Over at Global Military Justice Reform blog I posted about the NDAA 2016 and a “how are we doing” note.

I begin with,

In the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act 2016 (NDAA) the Congress made some significant changes to the UCMJ and the President’s follow-on Executive Order directed conforming changes and implementation regulations in the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM). All of the materials are available at the DoD Joint Service Committee on Military Justice website.

So how did we get here and so what.

And end with,

So how has that gone. The simple answer is that we are still adjusting and learning and it may be some time before we can reflect on the positive or negative effects of the changes. Congress itself has enacted changes that may provide more robust data for analysis.

So what. Prof. Dave Schlueter (a longtime MJ practitioner and studier of MJ) published a lengthy article about the 2016 changes–an article somewhat descriptive, somewhat analytic, and perhaps somewhat prescient. See David A. Schlueter, Reforming Military Justice: An Analysis of the Military Justice Act of 2016, 49 St. Mary’s L.J. 1 (2017).

Fine, but now we have the opportunity to compare and contrast, in addition to our own anecdotal experiences.

On 28 August 2020, the Congressional Research Service issued a Report on Military Justice Reform. See Jennifer K. Elsea and Jonathan M. Gaffney, Military Courts-Martial Under theMilitary Justice Act of 2016 (28 August 2020).


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