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In Modernizing the Manual for Courts-Martial Rule-Making Process: A Work in Progress, 165 Mil. L. Rev. 237 (2000), Captain Kevin J. Barry, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired), advances seven specific proposals for improving the methods by which the procedural and evidentiary rules for courts-martial are made. This article addresses Captain Barry-s proposals. On the whole, none of the proposals is radical or dangerous. Indeed, each is closely analogous to procedures in the federal civilian criminal justice system. In addition, no insurmountable legal obstacles would prevent their adoption. Yet, closer inspection suggests that, in light of all the progress that already has occurred in the methods for amending the rules none of the proposals would yield significant new benefits. At the same time, all but one or two of the proposals would impose at least some significant burdens or costs. For these reasons, at least at present, the Joint Service Committee, the Department of Defense, the President, and Congress should view Captain Barry-s recommendations with cautious skepticism.

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GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 380; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 380

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