UC Hastings Provost & Academic Dean Elizabeth L. Hillman was asked to serve on an independent panel authorized by Congress about the role of the Commander in sexual assault cases in the military. Specifically, the subcommittee was tasked with evaluating the issue of whether convening authorities should retain prosecutorial discretion.
The subcommittee voted 7-2 in favor of keeping prosecutorial discretion with command officers. Hillman voted against this practice, arguing that “we should vest discretionary authority to prosecute rape and sexual assault in the same people on whom federal, state, and many respected military criminal justice systems rely: trained, experienced prosecutors.”
The Secretary of Defense, as required by Section 576(a)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 112-239) and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 C.F.R. Section 102-3.50(a), established the Response Systems Panel.
The Response Systems Panel will conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses, under Section 920 of title 10, U.S.C. (Article 120, Uniform Code of Military Justice), for the purpose of developing recommendations regarding how to improve the effectiveness of such systems.