The Third Public Meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military was held on October 10, 2014 in Arlington, VA.

Arlington, VA - The third meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military (JPP) was held on Friday, October 10, 2014, at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston. The meeting consisted of a one hour deliberation session on the current and proposed changes to the military rape and sexual assault statute (Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)) and then focused on the Panel’s mandate to review the admission of evidence of a victim’s past sexual conduct and a victim’s mental health records at pre-trial hearings (also known as “Article 32” hearings), and at courts-martial.

During the Article 120 deliberations, the Panel considered written materials received on the subject, as well as testimony about Article 120 from numerous military and civilian stakeholders during the two previous full-day JPP meetings on August 7, 2014, and September 19, 2014.

After the Article 120 deliberations, the Panel received informational briefings from two military legal experts on the use of Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) 412 and 513, which control admission of evidence of past sexual conduct and mental health records, respectively, as applied in sexual assault court-martial proceedings. The next two sessions involved presentations by civilian legal experts comparing the rape shield protections afforded victims in civilian courts with those in the military justice system as well as the admission of victim mental health records in military versus civilian legal proceedings. Next, the Panel heard perspectives about victim privacy issues from victim advocacy organizations and a civilian practitioner who represents victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

In the last two sessions of the day, senior military prosecutors and defense counsel described their experiences with the practical application of Military Rules of Evidence 412 and 513 in military legal proceedings and answered Panel member questions.

This meeting was held as part of the JPP’s congressionally mandated mission to conduct an independent review and assessment of judicial proceedings conducted under the UCMJ involving adult sexual assault and related offenses for the purpose of developing recommendations to improve such proceedings. The next meeting of the Panel is scheduled for November 1 4, 2014 and will cover the Services’ implementation of Special Victims’ Counsel Programs to provide free legal representation to military sexual assault victims. The JPP will continue its work through September 2017 and will provide reports and assessments to the Secretary of Defense and Congress.

For more information about the Judicial Proceedings Panel and future meetings visit the website, http://jpp.whs.mil. Requests to make public comment, submission of written comments or materials for the Panel’s consideration and any other inquiries may be directed to Ms. Julie Carson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (703) 693-3849.

 

 

 

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