The Villanova Law Review 2023 Norman J. Shachoy Symposium, 02/24

"Military Justice Reform: The Next Twenty Years"


villanova law review

February 24, 2023
9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Laurence E. Hirsch '71 Classroom (Room 101)
John F. Scarpa Hall


The American military justice system has undergone waves of reform, and the most recent of these took place over the last decade. Spurred by a growing concern over the prevalence of sexual violence in the military, this reform culminated in the removal of commanders' power to exercise prosecutorial discretion over a category of primarily sex-related offenses. With this sea change now past us, it is an appropriate time to ask: “What next?”

The topic of this year's symposium, “Military Justice Reform: The Next Twenty Years,” will address that issue. Leading scholars, jurists and practitioners will come together at Villanova Law to discuss the most salient questions surrounding contemporary military justice.

The Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board has approved this symposium for 1.5 Substantive and 1 Ethical CLE credits. Please note registration for this event is required. 

The annual Villanova Law Review Symposium is named for Norman J. Shachoy '58 COE, '61 CWSL who served as Editor-in-Chief, Volume Six of the Villanova Law Review. The naming was made possible through his generous support, along with that of his son N. James Shachoy '86 CWSL.




9:00–9:15 a.m.


Video Address by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)


Panel 1: The Jurisdictional Boundary Between Military & Civilian Criminal Justice

The first panel will feature experts discussing the desirability of continuing to maintain a separate military justice system or separate military courts.


  • Eugene R. Fidell, Visiting Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School; Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU Law School; and Of counsel, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP
  • Robert Leider, Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Dwight Sullivan, Senior Associate Deputy General Counsel for Military Justice and Personnel Policy, Department of Defense, Office of General Counsel

Moderated by Chief Judge Emeritus Scott W. Stucky, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces


10:30–10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Panel 2: Unlawful Command Influence: Ethical & Legal Issues

This discussion will explore the continuing effects of unlawful command influence, which occurs when a person bearing "the mantle of command authority" uses their authority to influence the outcome of military judicial proceedings.


  • Major Caitlin Chiaramonte, Major in the U.S. Army and Academy Professor of Law, Department of Law at the U.S. Military Academy
  • Frank Rosenblatt, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Center, Mississippi College School of Law
  • Rachel E. VanLandingham, the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School and former judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force

Moderated by the Hon. Margaret A. Ryan, the J.J. Clynes Endowed Visiting Professor, Notre Dame Law School and Senior Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces


12:00–12:15 p.m.


12:15–12:45 p.m.
A Fireside Chat with Judge Tia Johnson

A fireside chat with Judge Tia Johnson about her life and path to becoming a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Hon. M. Tia Johnson, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; Adjunct Professor of Law & former Director, National Security Law LLM Program, Georgetown Law; and Visiting Fellow, Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law

Moderated by Brenner Fissell, Associate Professor of Law, Charles Widger School of Law


12:45–1:00 p.m.