Each state has an amalgam of laws and standards that govern the administration and operation of its armed forces. The maintenance of public order and discipline, the validity of commands, and proper actions for military members are legal concerns specific to military law. In some instances, some states authorize their army law systems to address civil crimes perpetrated by their military forces.
The U.S. Military Law lays down military legal policies and rules that apply to military personnel. Armed forces at home and overseas, active and non-active, are governed by military rule contained in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The U.S. military law is broad and extensive, spanning from issues related to unprofessional conduct to fraud. The “courts-martial” is a unique form of a military court where members of the armed forces are usually tried. The courts-martial system involves different kinds of military commissions and tribunals.
Here are the three most common types of military tribunals contained in the UCMJ:
- Special Courts-Martial
- General Courts-Martial
- Summary Courts-Martial
More so, the president has the power to establish military tribunals and commissions. However, the legal processes of these bodies must be in line with the constitution and the UCMJ. These bodies established by the president can initiate trials against US and international citizens who violate the laws of war.
What Is Military Law?
Military law or military justice is the facet of law that deals with the preservation of order and discipline in the armed forces. Military law definition entails the guidelines and statutes governing the conduct of military personnel. Many countries have specific bodies that see to the conduct of their military members. Military law and Martial Law are often used interchangeably. However, they are separate subjects. The latter entails military enforcement of law and order on a civilian population to replace a civilian administration. Martial Law is usually imposed during civil unrest, wars, or times of emergency. During times like this, military laws also apply to civilians.
The Universal Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) forms the foundation of the military legal system in America. Although the UCMJ is identical to civilian rule, military laws are way stricter than civilian laws. The offenses, crimes, and guidelines for prosecution and punishment are enshrined in the UCMJ. At all times, the military laws in the UCMJ dictate the code of conduct of all military personnel and retirees. When members violate any of these military laws, they are sure to be penalized accordingly.
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