court martial

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court martial

a court held to try matters of MILITARY LAW. Made up of serving officers advised by a judge advocate, its sentences are subject to confirmation by higher military authority. There is an appeal tribunal headed up by the Lord Chief Justice.

COURT MARTIAL. A court authorized by the articles of war, for the trial of all offenders in the army or navy, for military offences. Article 64, directs that general courts martial may consist of any number of commissioned officers, from five to thirteen, inclusively; but they shall not consist of less than thirteen, where the number can be convened, without manifest injury to the service.
     2. The decision of the commanding officer who appoints the court, as to the number that can be convened without injury to the service, is conclusive. 12 Wheat. R. 19. Such a court has not jurisdiction over a citizen of the United States not employed in military service 12 John. R. 257. It has merely a limited jurisdiction, and to render its jurisdiction valid, it must appear to have acted within such jurisdiction. 3 S. & R. 590 11 Pick. R. 442; 19 John. R. 7; 1 Rawle, R. 143.
     3. A court martial must have jurisdiction over the subject matter of inquiry, and over the person for a want of these will render its judgment null, and the members of the court and the officers who execute its sentence, trespassers. 3 Cranch, 331. See 5 Wheat. 1; 12 Wheat. 19; 1 Brock. 324. Vide Gord. Dig. Laws U. S., art. 3331 to 3357; 2 Story,. L. U. S. 1000; and also the Treatises of Adye, Delafon, Hough, J. Kennedy, M. V. Kennedy, McArthur, McNaghten, Simmons and Tyler on Courts Martial; and 19 John. R, 7; 12 John. R. 257; 20 John. R. 343; 5 Wheat. R. 1; 1 U. S. Dig. tit. Courts, V.

References in periodicals archive ?
You go to a civilian court, you get a fair hearing - at courts martial, they don't give you the chance to prove your innocence.
Lord Thomas QC, who is putting the case for the servicemen, told a panel of five Law Lords that the recentlyreformed courts martial system for the conduct of military trials is still incompatible with the human rights law that says everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
From the point of view of justice being seen to be done and to winning the confidence of the Iraqi people, I think it would be absolutely wrong to say all our courts martial are going to be held somewhere in the South of England that I do not even know where, being a Scotsman, never mind someone from outside Basra, and I think that is the danger--that we would lose the confidence of the people.
Mr Morris joined the Army ten years ago aged 16 and faced a courts martial in 1997 for being absent without leave.
He said the courts martial structure in the forces - modified in 1996 after previous successful human rights claims - still did not guarantee individuals the right to be heard by an 'independent and impartial tribunal' as promised by the Convention, to which the UK is a signatory.
The same court ruled in a test case that a courts martial made up largely of Army officers trying a case brought by Army officers, cannot be considered to be either independent or impartial.
Royal Navy Courts Martial the Judge Advocate sits separately from the board of officers.
Last month, Col Rodgers held a hearing for the pilot, Capt Richard Ashby, aged 30, of Mission Viejo, California, and the navigator, Capt Joseph P Schweitzer, also 30, of Westbury, New York, to determine whether they should face courts martial.