U.S. Marines – United States Marine Corps

Uniform Code of Military Justice Sub Chapter IV – VI

Chapter 47. Uniform Code of Military Justice

SubChapter Subject Area Section Article

I General Provisions 801 1
II Apprehension and Restraint 807 7
III Non-Judicial Punishment 815 15
IV Court-Martial Jurisdiction 816 16
V Composition of Courts-Martial 822 22
VI Pre-Trial Procedure 830 30
VII Trial Procedure 836 36
VIII Sentences 855 55
IX Post-Trial Procedure and Review of Courts Martial 859 59
X Punitive Articles 877 77
XI Miscellaneous Provisions 935 135
*XII Court of Military Appeals 941 141
Sec. Art.
816. 16. Courts-Martial classified.
817. 17. Jurisdiction of courts-martial in general.
818. 18. Jurisdiction of general courts-martial.
819. 19. Jurisdiction of special courts-martial.
820. 20. Jurisdiction of summary courts-martial.
821. 21. Jurisdiction of courts-martial not exclusive.

816. ART. 16. COURT-MARTIAL CLASSIFIED

The three kinds of courts-martial in each of the armed forces are–
(1) general courts-martial, consisting of–
(A) a military judge and not less than five members; or
(B) only a military judge, if before the court is assembled the accused, knowing the identity of the military judge and after consultation with defense counsel, requests orally on the record or in writing a court composed only of a military judge and the military judge approves;
(2) special courts-martial, consisting of–
(A) not less than three members; or
(B) a military judge and not less than three members; or
(C) only a military judge, if one has been detailed to the court, and the accused under the same conditions as those prescribed in clause (1)(B) so requests; and
(3) summary courts-martial, consisting of one commissioned officer.

817. ART. 17. JURISDICTION OF COURTS-MARTIAL IN GENERAL

(a) Each armed force has court-martial jurisdiction over all persons subject to this chapter. The exercise of jurisdiction by one armed force over personnel of another armed force shall be in accordance with regulations prescribed by the President.
(b) In all cases, departmental review after that by the officer with authority to convene a general court-martial for the command which held the trial, where that review is required under this chapter, shall be carried out by the department that includes the armed force of which the accused is a member.

818. ART. 18. JURISDICTION OF GENERAL COURTS-MARTIAL

Subject to section 817 of this title (article 17), general courts-martial have jurisdiction to try persons subject to this chapter for any offense made punishable by this chapter and may, under such limitations as the President may prescribe, adjudge any punishment not forbidden by this chapter, including the penalty of death when specifically authorized by this chapter. General courts-martial also have jurisdiction to try any person who by the law of war is subject to trial by a military tribunal and may adjudge any punishment permitted by the law of war. However, a general court-martial of the kind specified in section 816(1)(B) of this title (article 16(1)(B)) shall not have jurisdiction to try any person for any offense for which the death penalty may be adjudged unless the case has been previously referred to trial as noncapital case.

ART. 19. JURISDICTION OF SPECIAL COURTS-MARTIAL

Subject to section 817 of this title (article 17), special courts-martial have jurisdiction to try persons subject to this chapter for any noncapital offense made punishable by this chapter and, under such regulations as the President may prescribe, for capital offenses. Special courts-martial may, under such limitations as the President may prescribe, adjudge any punishment not forbidden by this chapter except death, dishonorable discharge, dismissal, confinement for more than six months, hard labor without confinement for more than three months, forfeiture of pay exceeding two-thirds pay per month, or forfeiture of pay for more than six months. A bad-conduct discharge may not be adjudged unless a complete record of the proceedings and testimony has been made, counsel having the qualifications prescribed under section 827(b) of this title (article 27(b)) was detailed to represent the accused, and a military judge was detailed to the trial, except in any case in which a military judge could not be detailed to the trial, the convening authority shall make a detailed written statement, to be appended to the record, stating the reason or reasons a military judge could not be detailed.

820 ART. 20. JURISDICTION OF SUMMARY COURTS-MARTIAL

Subject to section 817 of this title (article 17), summary courts-martial have jurisdiction to try persons subject to this chapter, except officers, cadets, aviation cadets, and midshipman, for any noncapital offense made punishable by this chapter. No person with respect to whom summary courts-martial have jurisdiction may be brought to trial before a summary court-martial if he objects thereto. If objection to trial by summary court-martial is made by an accused, trial may be ordered by special or general court-martial as may be appropriate. Summary courts-martial may, under such limitations as the President may prescribe, adjudge any punishment not forbidden by this chapter except death, dismissal, dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, confinement for more than one month, hard labor without confinement for more than 45 days, restrictions to specified limits for more than two months, or forfeiture of more than two-thirds of one month’s pay.

821. ART. 21. JURISDICTION OF COURTS-MARTIAL NOT EXCLUSIVE

The provisions of this chapter conferring jurisdiction upon courts- martial do not deprive military commissions, provost courts, or other military tribunals of concurrent jurisdiction with respect to offenders or offenses that by statute or by the law of war may be tried by military commissions, provost courts, or other military tribunals.
Sec. Art.
822. 22. Who may convene general courts-martial.
823. 23. Who may convene special courts-martial.
824. 24. Who may convene summary courts-martial.
825. 25. Who may serve on courts-martial.
826. 26. Military judge of a general or special court-martial.
827. 27. Detail of trial counsel and defense counsel.
828. 28. Detail or employment of reporters and interpreters.
829. 29. Absent and additional members.

822. ART. 22. WHO MAY CONVENE GENERAL COURTS-MARTIAL

(a) General courts-martial may be convened by–
(1) the President of the United States; *
(2) the Secretary of Defense; *
(3) the commanding officer of a unified or specified combatant command;
(4) the Secretary concerned;
(5) the commanding officer of a Territorial Department, an Army Group, an Army, an Army Corps, a division, a separate brigade, or a corresponding unit of the Army or Marine Corps;
(6) the commander in chief of a fleet; the commanding officer of a naval station or larger activity of the Navy beyond the United States.
(7) the commanding officer of an air command, an air force, an air division, or a separate wing of the Air Force or Marine Corps;
(8) any other commanding officer designated by the Secretary concerned; or
(9) any other commanding officer in any of the armed forces when empowered by the President.
(b) If any such commanding officer is an accuser, the court shall be convened by superior competent authority, and may in any case be convened by such authority if considered desirable by him.

823. ART. 23. WHO MAY CONVENE SPECIAL COURTS-MARTIAL

(a) Special courts-martial may be convened by–
(1) any person who may convene a general court-martial;
(2) the commanding officer of a district, garrison, fort, camp, station, Air Force base, auxiliary air field, or other place where members of the Army or the Air Force are on duty;
(3) the commanding officer of a brigade, regiment, detached battalion, or corresponding unit of the Army;
(4) the commanding officer of a wing, group, or separate squadron of the Air Force;
(5) the commanding officer of any naval or Coast Guard vessel, shipyard, base, or station; the commanding officer of any Marine brigade, regiment, detached battalion, or corresponding unit; the commanding officer of any Marine barracks, wing, group, separate squadron, station, base, auxiliary air field, or other place where members of the Marine Corps are on duty;
(6) the commanding officer of any separate or detached command or group of detached units of any of the armed forces placed under a single commander for this purpose; or
(7) the commanding officer or officer in charge of any other command when empowered by the Secretary concerned.
(b) If any such officer is an accuser, the court shall be convened by superior competent authority, and may in any case be convened by such authority if considered advisable by him.

824. ART. 24. WHO MAY CONVENE SUMMARY COURTS-MARTIAL

(a) Summary courts-martial may be convened by–
(1) any person who may convene a general or special court-martial;
(2) the commanding officer of a detached company other detachment of the Army;
(3) the commanding officer of a detached squadron or other detachment of the Air Force; or
(4) the commanding officer or officer in charge of any other command when empowered by the Secretary concerned.
(b) When only one commissioned officer is present with a command or detachment he shall be the summary court-martial of that command or detachment and shall hear and determine all summary court-martial cases brought before him. Summary courts-martial may, however, be convened in any case by superior competent authority when considered desirable by him.

825. ART, 25. WHO MAY SERVE ON COURTS-MARTIAL

(a) Any commissioned officer on active duty is eligible to serve on all courts-martial for the trial of any person who may lawfully be brought before such courts for trial.
(b) Any warrant officer on active duty is eligible to serve on general and special courts-martial for the trial of any person, other than a commissioned officer, who may lawfully be brought before such courts for trial. *
(c)
(1) Any enlisted member of an armed force on active duty who is not a member of the same unit as the accused is eligible to serve on general and special courts-martial for the trial of any enlisted member of an armed force who may lawfully be brought before such courts for trial, but he shall serve as a member of a court only if, before the conclusion of a session called by the military judge under section 839(a) of this title (article 39(a)) prior to trial or, in the absence of such a session, before the court is assembled for the trial of the accused, the accused personally has requested orally on the record or in writing that enlisted members serve on it. After such a request, the accused may not be tried by a general or special courts-martial the membership of which does not include enlisted members in a number comprising at least one-third of the total membership of the court, unless eligible enlisted members cannot be obtained on account of physical conditions or military exigencies. If such members cannot be obtained, the court may be assembled and the trial held without them, but the convening authority shall make a detailed written statement, to be appended to the record, stating why they could not be obtained.
(2) In this article, “unit” means any regularly organized body as defined by the Secretary concerned, but in no case may it be a body larger than a company, squadron, ship’s crew, or body corresponding to one of them.
(d)
(1) When it can be avoided, no member of an armed force may be tried by a court-martial any member of which is junior to him in rank or grade.
(2) When convening a court-martial, the convening authority shall detail as member thereof such members of the armed forces as, in his opinion, are best qualified for the duty by reason of age, education, training, experience, length of service, and judicial temperament. No member of an armed force is eligible to serve as a member of a general or special court-martial when he is the accuser or a witness for the prosecution or has acted as investigating officer or as counsel in the same case.
(e) Before a court-martial is assembled for the trial of a case, the convening authority may excuse a member of the court from participating in the case. Under such regulations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe, the convening authority may delegate his authority under this subsection to his staff judge advocate or legal officer or to any other principal assistant.

826. ART. 26. MILITARY JUDGE OF A GENERAL OR SPECIAL COURT-MARTIAL

(a) A military judge shall be detailed to each general court-martial. Subject to regulations of the Secretary concerned, a military judge may be detailed to any special court-martial. The Secretary concerned shall prescribe regulations providing for the manner in which military judges are detailed for such courts-martial and for the persons who are authorized to detail military judges for such courts-martial. The military judge shall preside over each open session of the court-martial in which he has been detailed.
(b) A military judge shall be a commissioned officer of the armed forces who is a member of the bar of a Federal court or a member of the bar of the highest court of a State and who is certified to be qualified for duty as a military judge by the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which such military judge is a member.
(c) The military judge of a general court-martial shall be designated by the Judge Advocate General, or his designee, of the armed force of which the military judge is a member of detail in accordance with regulations prescribed under subsection (a). Unless the court-martial was convened by the President or the Secretary concerned, neither the convening authority nor any member of his staff shall prepare or review any report concerning the effectiveness, fitness, or efficiency of the military judge so detailed, which relates to his performance of duty as a military judge. A commissioned officer who is certified to be qualified for duty as a military judge of a general court-martial may perform such duties only when he is assigned and directly responsible to the Judge Advocate General, or his designee, of the armed force of which the military judge is a member and may perform duties of a judicial or nonjudicial nature other than those relating to his primary duty as a military judge of a general court-martial when such duties are assigned to him by or with the approval of that Judge Advocate General or his designee.
(d) No person is eligible to act as military judge in a case if he is the accuser or a witness for the prosecution or has acted as investigating officer or a counsel in the same case.
(e) The military judge of a court-martial may not consult with the members of the court except in the presence of the accused, trial counsel, and defense counsel, nor may he vote with the members of the court.

827. ART. 27. DETAIL OF TRIAL COUNSEL AND DEFENSE COUNSEL

(a)
(1) Trial counsel and defense counsel shall be detailed for each general and special court-martial. Assistant trial counsel and assistant and associate defense counsel may be detailed for each general and special court-martial. The Secretary concerned shall prescribe regulations providing for the manner in which counsel are detailed for such courts-martial and for the persons who are authorized to detail counsel for such courts-martial.
(2) No person who has acted as investigating officer, military judge, or court member in any case may act later as trial counsel, assistant trial counsel, or, unless expressly requested by the accused, as defense counsel or assistant or associate defense counsel in the same case. No person who has acted for the prosecution may act later in the same case for the defense, nor may any person who has acted for the defense act later in the same case for the prosecution.
(b) Trial counsel or defense counsel detailed for a general court-martial–
(1) must be a judge advocate who is a graduate of an accredited law school or is a member of the bar of a Federal court or of the highest court of a State; or must be a member of the bar of a Federal court or of the highest court of a State; and
(2) must be certified as competent to perform such duties by the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which he is a member.
(c) In the case of a special court-martial–
(1) the accused shall be afforded the opportunity to be represented at the trial by counsel having the qualifications prescribed under section 827(b) of this title (article 27(b)) unless counsel having such qualifications cannot be obtained on account of physical conditions or military exigencies. If counsel having such qualifications cannot be obtained, the court may be convened and the trial held but the convening authority shall make a detailed written statement, to be appended to the record, stating why counsel with such qualifications could not be obtained;
(2) if the trial counsel is qualified to act as counsel before a general curt-martial, the defense counsel detailed by the convening authority must be a person similarly qualified; and
(3) if the trial counsel is a judge advocate or a member of the bar of a Federal court or the highest court of a State, the defense counsel detailed by the convening authority must be one of the foregoing.

828. ART. 28 DETAIL OR EMPLOYMENT OF REPORTERS AND INTERPRETERS.

Under such regulations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe, the convening authority of a court-martial, military commission, or court of inquiry shall detail or employ qualified court reporters, who shall record the proceedings of and testimony taken before that court or commission. Under like regulations the convening authority of a court-martial, military commission, or court of inquiry may detail or employ interpreters who shall interpret for the court or commission.

829. ART. 29. ABSENT AND ADDITIONAL MEMBERS

(a) No member of a general or special court-martial may be absent or excused after the court has been assembled for the trial of the accused unless excused as a result of challenge, excused by the military judge for physical disability or other good cause, or excused by order of the convening authority for good cause.
(b) Whenever a general court-martial, other than a general court-martial composed of a military judge only, is reduced below five members, the trial may not proceed unless the convening authority details new member sufficient in number to provide not less than five members. The trial may proceed with the new members present after the recorded evidence previously introduced before the members of the court has been read to the court in the presence of the military judge, the accused and counsel for both sides.
(c) Whenever a special court-martial, other than a special court-marital composed of a military judge only, is reduced below three members, the trial may not proceed unless the convening authority details new members sufficient in number to provide not less than three members. The trial shall proceed with the new members present as if no evidence had previously been introduced at the trial, unless verbatim record of the evidence previously introduced before the members of the court or a stipulation thereof is read to the court in the presence of the military judge, if any, the accused and counsel for both sides.
(d) If the military judge of a court-martial composed of a military judge only is unable to proceed with the trial because of physical disability, as a result of a challenge, or for other good cause, the trial shall proceed, subject to any applicable conditions of section 816(1)(B) or (2)(C) of this title (article 16(1)(B) or (2)(C), after the detail of a new military judge as if no evidence had previously been introduced, unless a verbatim record of the evidence previously introduced or a stipulation thereof is read in court in the presence of the new military judge, the accused, and counsel for both sides.
Sec. Art.
830. 30. Charges and specifications.
831. 31. Compulsory self-incrimination prohibited.
832. 32. Investigation.
833. 33. Forwarding of charges.
834. 34. Advice of staff judge advocate and reference for trial.
835. 35. Service of charges.

830. ART. 30. CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS

(a) Charges and specifications shall be signed by a person subject to this chapter under oath before a commissioned officer of the armed forces authorized to administer oaths and shall state–
(1) that the signer has personal knowledge of, or has investigated, the matters set forth therein; and
(2) that they are true in fact to the best of his knowledge and belief.
(b) Upon the preferring of charges, the proper authority shall take immediate steps to determine what disposition should be made thereof in the interest of justice and discipline, and the person accused shall be informed of the charges against him as soon as practicable.

831 ART. 31. COMPULSORY SELF-INCRIMINATION PROHIBITED

(a) No person subject to this chapter may compel any person to incriminate himself or to answer any questions the answer to which may tend to incriminate him.
(b) No person subject to this chapter may interrogate, or request any statement from an accused or a person suspected of an offense without first informing him of the nature of the accusation and advising him that he does not have to make any statement regarding the offense of which he is accused or suspected and that any statement made by him may be used as evidence against him in a trial by court-martial.
(c) No person subject to this chapter may compel any person to make a statement or produce evidence before any military tribunal if the statement or evidence in not material to the issue and may tend to degrade him.
(d) No statement obtained from any person in violation of this article, or through the use of coercion, unlawful influence, or unlawful inducement may be received in evidence against him in a trial by court-martial.

832. ART. 32. INVESTIGATION

(a) No charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a through and impartial investigation of all the matters set forth therein has been made. This investigation shall include inquiry as to the truth of the matter set forth in the charges, consideration of the form of charges, and recommendation as to the disposition which should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline.
(b) The accused shall be advised of the charges against him and of his right to be represented at that investigation as provided in section 838 of this title (article 38) and in regulations prescribed under that section. At that investigation full opportunity shall be given to the accused to cross-examine witnesses against him if they are available and to present anything he may desire in his own behalf, either in defense or mitigation, and the investigation officer shall examine available witnesses requested by the accused. If the charges are forwarded after the investigation, they shall be accompanied by a statement of the substance of the testimony taken on both sides and a copy thereof shall be given to the accused.
(c) If an investigation of the subject matter of an offense has been conducted before the accused is charged with the offense, and if the accused was present at the investigation and afforded the opportunities for representation, cross-examination, and presentation prescribed in subsection (b), no further investigation of that charge is necessary under this article unless it is demanded by the accused after he is informed of the charge. A demand for further investigation entitles the accused to recall witnesses for further cross-examination and to offer any new evidence in his own behalf.
(d) The requirements of this article are binding on all persons administering this chapter but failure to follow them does not constitute judicial error.

833. ART. 33. FORWARDING OF CHARGES

When a person is held for trial by general court-martial the commanding officer shall, within eight days after the accused is ordered into arrest or confinement, if practicable, forward the charges, together with the investigation and allied papers, to the officer exercising general court martial jurisdiction. If that is not practicable, he shall report in writing to that officer the reasons for the delay.

834. ART. 34. ADVICE OF STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE AND REFERENCE FOR TRIAL

(a) Before directing the trial of any charge by general court-martial, the convening authority shall refer it to his staff judge advocate for consideration and advice. The convening authority may not refer a specification under a charge to a general court-martial for trial unless he has been advised in writing by the staff judge advocate that–
(1) the specification alleges an offense under this chapter;
(2) the specification is warranted by the evidence indicated in the report of investigation under section 832 of this title (article 32) (if there is such a report); and
(3) a court-martial would have jurisdiction over the accused and the offense.
(b) The advice of the staff judge advocate under subsection (a) with respect to a specification under a charge shall include a written and signed statement by the staff judge advocate–
(1) expressing his conclusions with respect to each matter set forth in subsection (a); and
(2) recommending action that the convening authority take regarding the specification. If the specification is referred for trial, the recommendation of the staff judge advocate shall accompany the specification.
(c) If the charges or specifications are not formally correct or do not conform to the substance of the evidence contained in the report of the investigation officer, formal corrections, and such changes in the charges and specifications as are needed to make them conform to the evidence, may be made.

835. ART. 35. SERVICE OF CHARGES.

The trial counsel to whom court-martial charges are referred for trial shall cause to be served upon the accused a copy of the charges upon which trial is to be had. In time of peace no person may, against his objection, be brought to trial or be required to participate by himself or counsel in a session called by the military judge under section 839(a) of this title (article 39(a)), in a general court-martial case within a period of five days after the service of charges upon him or in a special court-martial within a period of three days after the service of the charges upon him.


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