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 ?
While finding it indisputable that the defendants mutinied, Holt found their actions were caused by "great provocation" and "terror." 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. The defendants returned to duty.
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.
Most offered statements after a vigorous defense conducted by counsel formerly assigned to the court-martial detail.
Benedict was dismissed from the service (the permanent disgrace attached to dismissal was generally considered adequate punishment for officers, even where they committed crimes that would have earned the death penalty if perpetrated by enlisted men), but a court-martial also tried thirteen enlisted men.
Sergeants William Kease and Doctor Moore of the 116th USCI were arraigned before a court-martial for leading an armed portion of their company, more than forty men, to the quarters of Capt.
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.
Once a case has been referred to the RAF Prosecuting Authority, the decision must be taken as to whether the charge should be tried by court-martial. The RAF Prosecuting Authority is an officer appointed by Royal Warrant to act as such and who must have held a legal qualification for a minimum of 10 years.
This simply means that on the admissible evidence available that a court-martial, properly directed in law, will more likely than not to convict.
Once the decision has been made that a court-martial should be convened, the Prosecuting Authority will request that the Court-martial Administration Officer will convene the court-martial.
A court-martial may sit as either a district court-martial or general court-martial.