Military Legal and Justice Information

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The name Lawfare refers both to the use of law as a weapon of conflict and, perhaps more importantly, to the depressing reality that America remains at war with itself over the law governing its warfare with others. This latter sense of the word—which is admittedly not its normal usage—binds together a great deal of our work over the years. It is our hope to provide an ongoing commentary on America’s lawfare, even as we participate in many of its skirmishes.

This site is administered by Yale University’s Professor Fidell, a lawyer, author and the Florence Rogatz Visiting Lecturer in Law and Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School. This site hosts comments and commentaries about military legal systems throughout the world and contains essential information for anyone conducting research into military legal issues.

 The National Institute of Military Justice was formed in 1991 by Eugene R. Fidell, Kevin J. Barry, Admiral John. S. Jenkins, and Stephen A. Saltzburg, to meet the special need for an effective, professional, public-interest group focused on the military justice system and related aspects of the administrative discharge system.

In its 25+ years of operation, NIMJ has been actively involved as a nongovernmental organization in the military justice system, filing amicus curiae  briefs with the courts, publishing books on the rules of practice in military courts-martial, providing suggestions for changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, observing the ongoing military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, providing expert commentary on military justice matters, and sponsoring symposia on international military justice, as well as other activities to educate the American public on the workings of its military justice system. We are incorporated in Washington, D.C.

Our Directors and Advisors have decades of experience as military Judge Advocates in the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, and include scholars who focus on domestic and international military law and justice, the law of war and military commissions, and veterans’ issues that are affected by the military justice system. Our Advisors are a vital resource for those seeking to understand the functioning of the military justice system in the United States.

The International Society for Military Law and the Law of War is an international non-profit and non-political association under Belgian law. The Society was created in Strasbourg (France) in 1956 and has its seat as well as its General Secretariat in Brussels (Belgium) since 1988, currently at the Royal Military Academy of the Belgian Armed Forces.

Canada's Military Justice System

An illustration and description of the Department of National Defence’s high-level reporting structure from the Minister of National Defence to senior levels of the organization.

A very brief and concise description of the Canadian military justice system.

The Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC) is an independent, civilian, quasi-judicial oversight agency. The Commission reviews and investigates complaints concerning military police conduct and investigates allegations of interference in military police investigations. It reports its findings and makes recommendations directly to the military police and national defence leadership.

MPCC Twitter:

Report 3 of the Auditor General of Canada
The Administration of Justice in the Canadian Armed Forces
22 October 2018