Washington D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), announced that he has appointed Elizabeth Hillman, professor of law at UC Hastings, to be a member of the independent sexual assault review panel.


“Elizabeth is uniquely qualified to help review and assess the military’s processes and procedures for investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating sexual assault related crimes,” said Ranking Member Smith.  “As the current President of the National Institute for Military Justice, Elizabeth has worked extensively, in a balanced and thoughtful way, to help promote fairness within the military justice system. I am pleased that Elizabeth has accepted this new role – her input in the process will be invaluable.” 


Section 576 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the purpose of developing recommendations regarding how to improve the effectiveness of such systems. Members of the


Members of the panel are appointed as follows:


  • The Secretary of Defense appoints 5 members, including the Chairman;
  • The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee appoints 1 member;
  • The Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee appoints 1 member;
  • The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee appoints 1 member; and
  • The Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee appoints 1 member.


Elizabeth L. Hillman, Professor of Law


Professor Hillman joined the UC Hastings faculty in 2007. Prior to that, she was professor of law and director of faculty development at Rutgers University School of Law at Camden, where she won awards for teaching, a Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, and a Human Dignity Award for service to the university community. Professor Hillman has testified before Congress and as an expert at trial about military law, history, and culture, topics about which she frequently writes and speaks.


Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Professor Hillman attended Duke University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, earned a degree in electrical engineering, and served as a space operations officer and orbital analyst in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colorado Springs. She taught history at the U.S. Air Force Academy and at Yale University, where she earned a PhD in history and JD from Yale Law School before joining the faculty at Rutgers.


She is president of the National Institute for Military Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting fairness in and public understanding of military justice worldwide, and is co-legal director of the Palm Center, a public policy research institute that played a key role in ending the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy of discriminating against gay men and lesbians in the U.S. armed forces. She has published two books, Military Justice Cases and Materials (2d ed. 2012, LexisNexis, with Eugene R. Fidell and Dwight H. Sullivan) and Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-Martial (Princeton University Press, 2005), and many articles, the most recent a chapter entitled “Sexual Violence in State Militaries” in Prosecuting International Sex Crimes (Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, 2012). Her current research concerns the law and politics of aerial bombing, military sexual violence, veterans’ claims and benefits, and trust administration (she is a bar review lecturer on California wills and trusts). And she still roots for the Steelers.


Courses Taught: Constitutional Law I & II, Civil Procedure I, Wills & Trusts, Military Law, Law & Biography, and the Community Law Program, through which students teach in high schools as part of the national Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Program

Expertise: Military Justice, Legal History, Constitutional Law, and Gender and Sexuality in the Law