11 participants from 10 countries attending the DIILS Military Justice course were hosted for a tour of the Massachusetts State House by Commonwealth Representative Harold Naughton as part of their Field Studies Program visit to Boston. Earlier, Representative Naughton, who is also a U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate, joined several other Reserve Judge Advocates to instruct participants on non-judicial punishment and court martial procedures. Military Justice Course participants also took part in an exercise that gave them practical experience drafting charges, investigating crime scenes and presenting witnesses in a sexual assault case.
The three-week Military Justice course offers a comprehensive overview of the U.S. military justice system and comparative analysis of other military justice systems. Topics include substantive and procedural due process, evidentiary practice, trial advocacy, non-judicial alternatives to courts martial, appeals, the role of judges and transparency. Participants were able to determine best practices in military justice based upon comparison of the U.S. and other military justice systems. They visited with U.S. military prosecutors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. and discussed military law with practitioners at the Pentagon.
Participants listed the following as strengths of the Military Justice Course:
• “Having lectures presented by the judges and legal advisers who work in the field.”
• “Having a practical demonstration by paralegal staff showing modern tools to report court hearings.”
• “The quality of the instructors was amazing they are really competent and very skilled.”
• “Cross-examination of the witnesses and drafting of charges/Indictments.”
• “Learning crime scene investigation techniques.”
• “Exchange of the experiences by participants about their national systems.”