President Biden on Friday signed an executive order that will bring about historic military justice reform. The order transfers key decision-making powers from military commanders to independent prosecutors in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, murder, and serious offenses. It marks the most significant transformation of the military justice system since 1950.
The ordered changes aim to protect victims and ensure decisions are independent of the chain of command, a turning point for gender-based violence survivors in the military, and fulfilling a key promise from Biden.
Reforms include rules by which the board of independent military prosecutors, or Offices of Special Trial Counsel, will function, modernized court procedures promoting fairness and victim protection, and uniform evidence standards for non-judicial punishment actions.
The executive action builds on recommendations from an independent review commission on sexual assault in the military, and strengthens the military’s response to domestic violence and sexual harassment.
The president’s bold move makes the military safer and more just, representing a historic leap toward ending gender-based violence in the military.
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