Court-Martial Legal Meaning and Definition
Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Court-Martial.
Court-Martial (noun): A military court that has the authority to prosecute members of the armed forces for violations of military law. The court-martial proceedings follow a formal process to identify the cause of the alleged crime and deliver a verdict.
Court-martials can be classified into three types:
General Court-Martial: Conducted by the Judge Advocate and at least five military officers. This court handles major crimes with severe punishments, including a potential death penalty.
Special Court-Martial: Conducted by at least three officers and handles cases that may result in penalties such as dismissal, prolonged detention, or assignment to arduous duties.
Summary Court-Martial: Conducted by a single officer, generally for minor crimes.
Court-Martial can also be used as a verb, meaning to bring a military officer before a court-martial for alleged crimes or violations of military duties as set aside in the military law.