The Center for Law and Military Policy is a think tank dedicated to strengthening the legal protections of those who serve our nation in uniform.
Led by Dwight Stirling, a law professor and reserve JAG officer, the CLMP seeks to change policies that harm everyday service members. The co-founder and former CEO of Veterans Legal Institute, Mr. Stirling has seen first-hand just how vulnerable military personnel are, particularly the rank and file who enlist directly out of high school. Yet while these brave men and women risk their lives keeping America free, their own rights are often ignored or even discarded altogether. This is not right. Serving in uniform should not make a person a second-class citizen.
The Center for Law and Military Policy conducts research and produces educational material in order to strengthen the legal protections of service members and veterans. Our work helps to close the civil-military gap, the civilian population’s limited understanding of military life and culture. Less than 1% of the country are in the military in any form. The growing divide between the two communities, civilian and military, is harmful and inconsistent with America's founding values. Through rigorous scholarship and timely educational programs, the CLMP seeks to bridge the gap between service member and civilian, deepening understanding, appreciation, and consideration on both sides.
Empowering Victims of Military Sexual Assault (MST) - One of the CLMP's primary initiatives is to increase the legal rights of survivors of MST. As widely reported, rape and other forms of assault against male and female service members occur at an alarming rate within the military. Statistics show, for instance, that nearly half of all women are assaulted in one form or fashion during their time in uniform. Yet MST victims are unable to sue their assailants in a court of law. Prevailing judicial policy prohibits any civil suit pertaining to harm that occurs "incident to service," a policy known as the Feres Doctrine. The result is that the only category of Americans who have no standing to sue when sexually assaulted are those who serve in the military. Such a policy is unconscionable and represents a stain on our national conscience. The rules should be modified to allow MST survivors to hold their assailants accountable in a court of law.
Screening of The Invisible War and Symposium on the Feres Doctrine - On October 11 and 12, 2018, the CLMP is hosting a special screening of The Invisible War and conducting a symposium on the Feres Doctrine. Both events will be held at the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University in Orange, California. Presenters include director Kirby Dick, renowned attorney Susan Burke, author Dr. Kristen Zaleski, professor Dr. Francine Banner, Don Christensen of Protect Our Defenders, and our very own Dwight Stirling. For more information on the symposium, click here.
The "A World Apart" Podcast – The AWA podcast seeks to close the civil-military gap by telling the individual stories of service members and veterans. Hosted by Dallis Warshaw, the CLMP's Vice President for Policy, the stories are heartwarming, engaging, and remarkable. To listen, click here.
The Journal for Law, Policy, Military Affairs - The JLPMA is an online-only law journal that addresses the legal and policy issues facing service members and veterans. The only independent academic platform for military-related scholarship, the JLPMA's objective, unbiased articles are grounded in reflection, thoughtfulness, and reform. To view, click here.
Sound Off - Sound Off is an online platform for the discussion of issues facing military service members and veterans. To view, click here.
Sign up to hear from us about upcoming events and updates.