court martial

court-martial, n. An ad hoc military court convened under military authority to try someone accused of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, particularly a member of the armed forces. [Cases: Armed Services 42; Military Justice 870–898. C.J.S. Armed Services § 166; Military Justice §§ 13, 138–158.] Pl. courts-martial. — court-martial, vb.

“[C]ourts-martial are not a part of the federal judicial system, and the procedure in such courts is regulated by the Articles of War, Army Regulations, orders of the President, and military custom.” Altmayer v. Sanford, 148 F.2d 161, 162 (5th Cir. 1945).

BCD special court-martial. A special court-martial in which a possible punishment is a bad-conduct discharge (a “BCD”).

general court-martial. A proceeding that is presided over by a military judge, and no fewer than five members (who serve as jurors), and that has jurisdiction over all the members of the armed forces. • It is the highest military trial court.

special court-martial. A proceeding that is presided over by a military judge and no fewer than three members (who serve as jurors) to hear noncapital offenses and prescribe a sanction of hard labor, dismissal, or extended confinement (up to six months). • It is the intermediate level of courts-martial.

summary court-martial. A proceeding presided over by a single commissioned officer who is jurisdictionally limited in what sanctions can be imposed. • It is the lowest level of courts-martial.

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