31 January 2010

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (1 Feb 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Friday, 5 February 2010

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee, Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Bill 2009 and Information Commissioner Bill 2009, 0900 AEDT, Committee Room 241, Parliament House. A link to a live web cast can be found here. Submissions received can be found here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is sitting on 1 February 2010 but none of the cases being heard concern military justice or veterans issues. A lists of cases to be heard this week can be found here.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Bienstein v. Attorney General, [2009] FCA 1501, VID12/2010, Freedom of Information Act case. Failure to make decision in 30 days - deemed refusal to grant access - whether Administrative Appeals Tribunal had power to order that a decision be made.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently has no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

27 January 2010

House Judiciary favorably reports Equal Justice for Our Military Act

[UPDATED]

Today the full U.S. House Judiciary Committee, by voice vote, favorably reported, out to the full House, the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569, as amended in the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy.

Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX); Howard Coble (R-NC); and Thomas Rooney (R-FL) spoke against the bill. Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) spoke in favor of the bill.

The opponents of the bill referred to communications from the Department of Defense in the George W. Bush administration in opposing H.R. 569 citing limited resources and the possible unknown consequences of enacting the bill.

Rep. Johnson disagreed with the costs citing expert testimony of Washington, DC attorney Dwight Sullivan at last year's hearing on HR 569 in the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy. Mr. Sullivan's opening statement of last year's hearing can be found here.

Florida Republican, Rep. Rooney, who is a former U.S. Army judge advocate, strongly spoke against the bill, indicating that when you join the military you sacrifice certain rights. However, Rooney failed to reconcile the inequity in permitting enemy combatants access to the U.S. Supreme Court while denying servicemembers who capture those enemies the same high court access.

The bill enjoys broad support from military veterans organizations and legal advocacy associations. The American Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association, Fleet Reserve Association, Jewish War Veterans, Military Officers Association of America, and National Institute of Military Justice are some of the groups that support H.R. 569.

[Note: Rep. Rooney made a false statement that I had renounced my U.S. citizenship. I have since emailed and faxed a letter to Rep. Rooney indicating that I have never renounced my U.S. citizenship and I have requested that he retract his statement and issue an apology to me.]

25 January 2010

This week in Congress (25 January 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

House Committee on the Judiciary, markup on the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569, 1015 hours, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building. A link to the live web cast can be found here. This blog has discussed the bill here and here. CAAFlog has also provided past highlights of a subcommittee hearing conducted in June 2009 which can be found here. A markup memo, which was released in December 2009, is available here.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, hearing on Roundtable on Meeting the Unique Health Care Needs of Rural Veterans, 1000 hours, 345 Cannon House Office Building. A live web cast can be viewed here.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Markup: Pending legislation, and vote on the nomination of Raul Perea-Henze to be an Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Policy and Planning, 0930 hours, 418 Russell Senate Office Building. [It is unclear as to what pending legislation will be marked up. I do have an email into the Committee and will update this post with the relevant information if and when the Committee responds.]
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

23 January 2010

Federal Court refuses Kowalski leave to appeal decision of Military R & H Commission

Last week the Federal Court of Australia, in Kowalski v. Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, [2010] FCA 5 (15 January 2010), refused to grant leave on an application from a veteran to appeal a decision from the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. The underlying issues involve a disqualification of a judge from the case. The appellant sought to rectify various observations made by Judge Besanko during proceedings. The court did hold it had jurisdiction but held that none of the matters raised by the appellant merrited relief.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (25 Jan 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate are both in recess until 2 February 2010.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!





The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not sitting until 2 February 2010. A list of the cases to be heard can be found here (but none involve military justice or veterans issues.)

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no hearings this week involving cases related to military justice or veterans issues. A full list of pending cases can be found here.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

Presently there are no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

18 January 2010

This week in Congress (18 Jan 2010) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Monday, 18 January 2010

Federal Holiday - Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

House Committee on the Armed Services, hearing on the Department of Defense Independent Review Relating to Fort Hood, 0930 hours, Room SD-G50, 1000 hours, HVC 210.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, hearing on Roundtable on Veterans Service Organization Priorities for 2010, 1000 hours, 345 Cannon House Office Building. A live web cast can be viewed here.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Senate Committee on the Armed Services, hearing on the Department of Defense Independent Review Relating to Fort Hood, 0930 hours, Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, hearing on Transitioning Heroes: New Era, Same Problems?, 1000 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building. It will be web cast live here.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, hearing on The Future of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Claims Processing System, 1300 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building. It will be web cast live here.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (18 Jan 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate are both in recess until 2 February 2010.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not sitting until 2 February 2010. A list of the cases to be heard can be found here (but none involve military justice or veterans issues.)

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no hearings this week involving cases related to military justice or veterans issues. A full list of pending cases can be found here.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

Presently there are no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

11 January 2010

This week in Congress (11 Jan 2010) . . .

[UPDATED] The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

House Committee on the Judiciary, markup on the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569, 1015 hours, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building. A link to the live web cast can be found here.

This blog has discussed the bill here and here. CAAFlog has also provided past highlights of a subcommittee hearing conducted in June 2009 which can be found here. A markup memo, which was released in December 2009, is available here.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

10 January 2010

American soldier being prosecuted for stop loss rap song

Thanks to CAAFlog, Phil Cave's Court-Martial Trial Practice blog and Stars and Stripes there is information on the prosecution of U.S. Army Specialist Marc A. Hall for a rap song that allegedly threatens violence against other soldiers in his unit. Here is a link to the rap song -- warning it has extremely explicit lyrics. The charge sheet can be found here. Here is a link to the Stars and Stripes article.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (11 Jan 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate are both in recess until 2 February 2010.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not sitting this week and the website has not been updated since 3 December 2009. [If the High Court's website is updated with cases to be argued this week, and if any involve military or veterans issues, this post will be updated as well.]

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Kowalski v. Superannuation Complaints Tribunal [2009], FCA 1466, SAD 192/2009, hearing by full court. Case concerns the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993. But there was a disqualification motion, which was denied, concerning an alleged conflict of interest in Kowalski v. Repatriation Commission [2009] FCA 794. [Note: the appeal in that case is scheduled for hearing on 16 February 2010 by the full court.]

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

Presently there are no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.