Please Teach Military Law at HLS


Dear HLS Community:

My understanding is that HLS has finally decided to comply with Federal Law, and is now allowing military recruiters access to students at HLS on a fair basis. While this is long overdue and welcome, it creates an unbalanced situation.

Currently, HLS does not teach a single course on military law; although many of its graduates practice military law as civilian lawyers and as military lawyers. Offering one, or multiple courses on military law is the right thing to do for current HLS students, for our HLS veterans, and for our country.

HLS students and faculty have the ability to maturely understand complex subjects, over which reasonable people may have different political viewpoints. The fact that people have differing views of the military, should not prevent them from learning about the fundamentals of military law. For those individuals who wish to change and improve military laws, an understanding of the regulations, is only going to make their arguments more detailed and convincing.

It is imperative for HLS students and faculty to understand, that the military continues to be subject to political control; that is, the majority of their legal rules and regulations are directed by the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court (and lower federal courts), and by the Executive Branch. It may well be the case that HLS could effect great improvement in the current and future state of military laws, by training their students to develop a detailed understanding and appreciation of how these complex legal structures came to be, and how they can be reformed. To not teach the students the fundamentals, is to encourage them to not partake in a very necessary debate that can benefit future generations of soldiers and sailors.

To those who hold differing opinions on the matter, I encourage you to bring them forth in a productive manner. Share your viewpoints on this important debate with the faculty, and with each other, and with this publication.

I for one, respectfully request that HLS begin to teach this subject in the fall of 2003.

Your Obedient Servant,

Charles FacktorHLS Class of 1990Lieutenant Commander U.S. Naval Reserves

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