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Types of Courts Martial

Types of Courts Martial



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Published by Michael Waddington
Court Martial and Military Justice
Court Martial and Military Justice

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Published by: Michael Waddington on Jan 10, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The characteristics of the different types of courts martial aredescribed below.
A summary court-martial has jurisdiction over all personnel,
commissionedofficers, warrant officer, cadets, aviation cadets, and midshipmen, charged with aUCMJ offense referred to it by the convening authority.
Composed of one commissioned officer on active duty, usually pay grade O-3 or above
The accused member is not entitled to be represented by a military attorney, butmay hire a civilian lawyer at his own expense. [In rare cases, military exigenciesmay preclude the reasonable availability of civilian counsel.] As a matter of Air Force policy, all accused at summary courts-martial are afforded representation bymilitary counsel.
The accused member may object to trial by summary court-martial, in which casethe charges are returned to the convening authority for further action (e.g.,disposition other than by court-martial or action to send the charges to a special or general court-martial)
The maximum punishment a summary court-martial may award is: confinementfor 30 days, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one month, and reduction to thelowest pay grade (E-1)
In the case where the accused is above the fourth enlisted pay grade, a summarycourt-martial may not adjudge confinement, hard labor without confinement, or reduction except to the next lowest pay grade
A special court-martial has jurisdiction over all personnel charged with any UCMJoffense referred to it by the convening authority.
Composed of not less than three members, which may include commissionedofficers and enlisted members (at the accused’s request)
Usually presided over by a military judge
The military judge may conduct the trial alone, if requested by the accused
A military lawyer is detailed to represent the accused member at no expense to theaccused. The member may instead request that a particular military attorney, if reasonably available, represent him or her 
The member may also retain a civilian attorney at no expense to the government

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