In 2020, the Rear Admiral John S. Jenkins Writing Award for Law Students has been won by Matthew M. Fitzgerald of Vanderbilt University with his essay, Thank Me for My Service: An Ethics Oversight in DoD Social Media Policy.
Standards of conduct promulgated by U.S. Office of Government Ethics and the Department of Defense purport to forbid servicemembers from calling attention to their military identities for commercial gain, but today on social media, service members commonly act as influencers in return for kickbacks or commissions. Mr. Fitzgerald has collected a large body of evidence showing that violations of the relevant ethical standards are widespread, but apparently under the radar so far of military commanders and departmental leadership. His essay is both a “heads up” and a call for action. It has been accepted for publication by the Harvard National Security Law Journal.
The judges called for the award of Honorable Mention to Mark M. Rothrock of Duke University for his essay, All’s Fair in Love and Wars of Self-Defense: In Support of the “Conservative Approach” to Jus ad Bellum. Mr. Rothrock reviewed the debate among jurists regarding proportionality in self-defense actions subject to jus ad bellum, endorsing the view that proportionality has no constraining role to play when the threat is “existential” in nature. Mr. Rothrock’s essay has been published as part of the LENS Essay Series by the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University School of Law.
Thanks to our John S. Jenkins Writing Award Selection Committee, Prof. J.P. Jones, Prof. Geoff Corn, and Mr. Arnon Siegel for their work in evaluating the submissions.
Nominations are now welcome for the 2021 Adm. John S. Jenkins Award, the deadline for which is July 31, 2021.