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 ?
Regardless of a defendant's race, court-martial panels could impose justice harshly.
A court-martial convicted the teenaged Shaw for murder, but a defect in the proceedings regarding the calling of the court negated his punishment and he returned to duty.
Thus, where the judge advocate's office found that members of a black regiment who briefly mutinied were "clearly wholly provoked" by the "cruel, brutal, and inexcusable violence of their officer," it recommended mitigation of a death sentence imposed by court-martial on one of the mutineers and that the officer be court-martialed.
While recommending leniency toward the accused, Holt expressed more concern that the "circumstances of malignant cruelty with which the men were treated" would destroy both military discipline and the esteem in which people held the service and urged that the troubled lieutenant be tried by general court-martial.
This dissemination of knowledge about court-martial procedure, whether or not involving capital charges, prepared black soldiers to face the rule of law in civilian life.
Fifteen of approximately 253 black mutineers faced execution by general court-martial (as did four white mutineers), while others endured severe sentences.
Such action is normally taken where the charge is one which will be dealt with by way of court-martial rather than by the commanding officer himself.
It should be noted, however, that though every Service offence may be dealt with by way of court-martial, certain offences are deemed appropriate for summary disposal, and a list of these offences is set out at Regulation 5 of the PCCSDRs.
In an Orderly Room proceeding, the accused person will be marched before the commanding officer, who will satisfy himself that the accused person has been afforded his rights in relation to election for trial by court-martial and has had sufficient time to prepare for the hearing.
The jurisdiction in the Army and Royal Air Force is limited to minor civil offences and most of the disciplinary offences contained within the Army Act and Air Force Act 1955 (except where court-martial is specifically required (31)).
The earliest set of recent reforms to the criminal justice system of the British Military were applied to the court-martial system following the case of Lance Sergeant Findlay in the European Court.
The fundamental structural changes made to the court-martial system involve the dividing up of the responsibilities of the convening officer to three separate and extensively independent bodies.