Photo caption: AFRICOM Legal Engagements Chief meets with MLDP participants from African countries.
NEWPORT - U.S. Coast Guard Commander Michelle Bas, a Judge Advocate who leads the Engagements Division of the Office of Legal Counsel at United States Africa Command, observed participant presentations on national military justice systems and briefed on the work of the AFRICOM Legal Engagements Division during the DIILS Military Law Development Program (MLDP). This 10-week course offers military legal advisors (e.g., judges, prosecutors, or investigators) a comprehensive military justice and operational law curriculum, which also includes attending the DIILS "Law of Armed Conflict and Human Rights" (LCHR) and "Legal Aspects of Combating Corruption" (LCC) courses. In addition to attending LCHR and LCC, the eleven MLDP participants from ten countries observed court hearings, visited a prison, a state crime lab and participated in comparative discussions of best practices and lessons learned on a wide range of relevant and timely legal topics, including professional responsibility and cybercrime. The next MLDP is scheduled 13 April - 18 June 2015.
Participant comments on the course reflect their perspective on the value-added of the program and its positive impact:
"The program allowed me to learn from the experience of other [countries], which can be useful for my country in improving our military justice system."
"The field trips, such as visiting courts, further enhanced our understanding of the topic. We were able to observe the real experience..."
"The program was practical....covering issues we deal with in the day-to-day execution of our duties."
MLDP participants visit the Rhode Island Crime Lab.