Fall 2015 Symposium

Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military: Discipline, Justice, and Command

New England Law Review’s Fall 2015 Symposium

fall 2015 symposium flyer final 8x11

Thursday, October 8, 2015

4:30-6:30 PM

Cherry Room, New England Law | Boston

The New England Law Review fall paper symposium will be held on October 8th at 4:30 p.m. in the Cherry Room at New England Law | Boston. It will showcase Professor Rachel VanLandingham’s article “Discipline, Justice, and Command in the U.S. Military: Maximizing Strengths and Minimizing Weaknesses in a Special Society.” She will discuss why military commanders should be removed from the prosecutorial chain, as this position constitutes an unethical practice of law, and further discuss the collateral consequences of such a removal.

She also will consider how problems associated with prosecutorial discretion can be potentially magnified in the military, the unique aspects of commander-owned prosecutorial discretion, and the insufficient checks and balances currently in place.

The symposium will feature Professor VanLandingham, a Visiting Scholar from Southwestern Law School, as our keynote speaker, as well as feedback and commentary from a panel of prominent legal voices, including:

  • Associate Dean Victor Hansen, New England Law | Boston
  • Provost Elizabeth Hillman, UC Hastings College of Law
  • Adjunct Professor James Gallagher, Suffolk University Law School


Author Bios

Rachel E. VanLandingham, Keynote Speaker

Rachel VanLandingham is currently an Associate Professor of Law in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, and national security law at Southwestern Law School. Over the course of her career, she served more than twenty years in the United States Air Force, twelve of which she served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In 2013, Rachel VanLandingham testified before the Response System’s Sexual Assault Panel, which examines sexual assault in the U.S. military. She has also written extensively about military justice, and has had works published most recently by the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, the Cardozo Law Review, and The New Republic. Most recently, Professor VanLandingham won the Benjamin B. Ferencz Essay Competition, for which her article “Criminally Disproportionate Warfare: Agression as a Contextual War Crime,” will be published in the Spring 2016 issue of Case Western Reserve University International Journal of Law.

Ms. VanLandingham holds a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a M.P.M. with a National Security emphasis from the University of Maryland, College Park, a J.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, and an LL.M from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School.

Victor M. Hansen

Associate Dean Victor Hansen teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Prosecutorial Ethics at New England Law | Boston. Before joining the New England Law faculty in 2005, he served a 20-year career in the Army, most of that time as a JAG Corps officer. In his last military assignment he served as a regional defense counsel for the United States Army Trial Defense Service. His previous assignments include work as a military prosecutor and supervising prosecutor. He has been involved in military capital litigation as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. He also served as an associate professor of law at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA. He is the author of several articles and books on criminal and military law, evidence, and national security issues, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Elizabeth L. Hillman

Elizabeth L. Hillman currently serves as Provost and Academic Dean of UC Hastings College of Law, where she teaches courses in Constitutional Law, Wills & Trusts, and Military Law. She has, over her career, amassed a wealth of expertise in military justice, constitutional law, and gender and equality in the law. A graduate of Duke University, Provost Hillman served as a space operations officer and orbital analyst in the United States Air Force. Prior to joining the UC Hastings faculty in 2007, Provost Hillman taught at the Air Force Academy, Yale University, and Rutgers University School of Law at Camden. She became Provost at UC Hastings in 2013. Provost Hillman has authored two books as well as numerous articles, chapters, and reports, covering topics inclduing military law, history, and culture. She has also testified as an expert witness at trial, before Congressional committees, and before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2013, she was appointed by Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, to the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel (RSP), which is an independent panel chartered by Congress to study and make recommendations about sexual assault in the U.S. military.As chair of the RSP’s Comparative Systems Subcommittee, Provost Hillman led the preparation and drafting of a comprehensive report recommending significant changes to improve military responses to sexual assault. She is a Director and former President of the non-profit National Institute of Military Justice and sits on the editorial boards of Gender and Conflict and Critical Military Studies.

James E. Gallagher

James (“Jim”) Gallagher began his legal career as an Officer and Judge Advocate for the United States Marine Corps. While stationed in Kaneohe Bay, he served as prosecutor, defense counsel, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii. From 2006 through 2009, Jim was involved in the prosecution and defense of more than 100 courts-martial. In 2008, Jim deployed to Karmah, Iraq as the Battalion Judge Advocate with 2d Battalion, 3d Marines in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jim Gallagher now practices at Davis Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. in Boston. He was named a Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2011-2014. Jim is still active in the Marine Corps Reserves. Jim graduated from Marine Corps Command and Staff College in June. From 2009 to 2013, prior to attending school, Jim served as an instructor at the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. Additionally, Jim is an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School where he teaches a course on Military Law.


For more information on this symposium, please contact:

Lauren DeMatteo, Business Managing Editor

Cynthia Hahne, Symposium Editor