Military Criminal Law
Article I, Section 8
"The Congress shall have the Power ... [t]o provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States."
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
10 U.S.C. §§ 801-946. Also reprinted in Appendix A2 of the Manual for Courts-Martial.
Manual for Courts-Martial
Now printed annually by the GPO. Contains Rules for Courts-Martial, Military Rules of Evidence, punitive articles, forms, guides (scripts) for general and special courts-martial, etc. Location: Law Government Docs D 1.15:[year]. The 2016 edition is available in PDF format from the Army Publishing Directorate. (This is a very large file (936 pages) and may take a long time to load.)
Many regulations establish additional procedures or contain provisions which can be enforced through prosecution. Regulations are available online:
- Department of Defense Directives
- Air Force Publications
- Army Publications
- Navy Publications
- Marine Publications
Military Justice Regulations
- Air Force: Air Force Instruction 51-201, Administration of Military Justice, 21 December 2007, incorporating Change 1, 3 February 2010, (PDF)
- Army: Army Reg. No. 27-10, Military Justice, effective 3 November 2011, (PDF)
- Navy/Marines: Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN) JAGINST 5800.7E, 20 June 2007, (PDF); Change 1 (PDF), 5 May 2008; Change 2 (PDF), 16 September 2008
Military defendants have an automatic right to appeal in most cases. The first level of appeal consists of the Courts of Criminal Appeal for each of the different branches of the service (the Navy and Marines have a joint court). Judges on these courts are active duty or reserve judge advocates. These courts were originally called Boards of Review and then Courts of Military Review. The highest level of appeal is the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, formerly known as the Court of Military Appeals. The Court is made up of civilian judges. Military defendants can now appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
- Courts-Martial Reports (C.M.R.) (1951 - 1975). Location: Law Government Docs D 1.29:[vol. no.]
- Military Justice Reporter (M.J.) (1975 - present). Location: Law unclassified. Shelved at end of the federal reporters. Our subscription cancelled; last volume is Vol. 67, 2009.
- Cases can also be found on Westlaw in the Military Justice Cases (MJ) database; on WestlawNext under Military Court Cases; and on Lexis in the topic area of Military & Veterans Law.
Military Court Websites
- US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces—opinions from Oct 1996
- Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals—published opinions from 2002
- Army Court of Criminal Appeals—opinions from late 1995
- Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals—opinions from 2004
The following are several useful books concerning military justice. Note that since these are published by LexisNexis, most, if not all, are available on Lexis online:
- Court-Martial Procedure, by Francis A. Gilligan & Fredric I. Lederer (3d ed., LexisNexis 2006). 3 vols. & 2008 Supplement. Location: Law KF 7625 .G55 2006
- Military Criminal Justice: Practice and Procedure, by David A. Schlueter (9th ed., LexisNexis 2015). Location: Law KF 7620 .S34 2015
- Military Criminal Procedure Forms, by Kenneth V. Jansen et al. (3d ed., LexisNexis 2009). Location: Law KF 7620 .A65 M55 2009
- Military Evidentiary Foundations, by David A. Schlueter et al. (4th ed., LexisNexis 2010). Location: Law KF 7628 .M55 2010
- Military Rules of Evidence Manual, by Stephen A. Saltzburg, Lee D. Schinasi, David A. Schlueter, & Victor M. Hansen (8th ed., LexisNexis 2015). 2 vols. Location: Law KF 7628 .S34 2015
- Military Justice: Cases and Materials, by Eugene R. Fidell, Elizabeth L. Hillman, & Dwight H. Sullivan (LexisNexis 2007 & Statutory Supp. 2007). Location: Law 7620 .F53 2007
Articles & Other Resources
- Air War College: Military Law & Legal Links
- Philip Carter, The Seven Basic Myths about Military Justice: Why It’s Much Fairer To Defendants Than You May Have Been Led to Think, (Dec 18, 2002)
- Congressional Research Service & R. Chuck Mason, Military Justice: Courts-Martial, An Overview, (Mar. 14, 2012)
- Congressional Research Service & Ann C. Henning, Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction Over Military Court Cases, (Mar. 5, 2009)
- Department of Defense, Law of War Manual (2015). Location: Law KZ 6385 .U553 2015.
- Eugene R. Fidell & Dwight H. Sullivan eds., Evolving Military Justice (Naval Institute Press 2002). Location: KF 7620 .E94 2002.
- Military Law Sourcebook (ABA Publishing 2012). Location: Law Reference KF 7209 .M58 2012. Compilation of militrary law materials, including Federal Torts Claims Act, Lieber Code, Geneva Conventions, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, etc.
Veterans-Related Legal Issues
- Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations (LexisNexis 2011). Location: Law Reference KF 7709 .F31
- Veterans Benefits Manual (Barton F. Stichman et al. eds., LexisNexis 2011). Location: Law Reference KF 7709 .V47
- Veteran Preference Employment Statutes: A State-by-State and Federal Government Handbook, by V.I. Brown (McFarland 2000). Location: KF 3460 .Z95 B76 2001
- Veterans Appeals Reporter (1992 - present). Location: Law unclassified. Shelved at end of the federal reporters in the compact shelving, Row 155. Our subscription cancelled; last volume is Vol. 23, 2010
- Cases can also be found on Westlaw in the Federal Military Law - United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (FMIL-VA) database; on WestlawNext under U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; and on Lexis in the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CVA) database and under the Military & Veterans Law topic.
- Ripped Off! A Servicemember’s Guide to Common Scams, Frauds, and Bad Deals, Micahel S. Archer (ABA 2014). Location: Law KF 1609 .A77 2014.
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims—opinions from 1989
- Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors, 2010 Edition
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) Research Guide
- George R. Wood & Ossai Miazad eds., The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ABA 2009). Location: Law 3460 .U53 2009
Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA)
- Pub. L. No. 97-252 § 1001 et seq., 96 Stat. 730 (1982), as amended.
- Military Retirement Benefits in Divorce, Marshal S. Willick (American Bar Association 1998). Location: Law KF 7275 .W55 1998.
- The Complete QDRO Handbook: Dividing ERISA, Military, and Civil Service Pensions and Collection Child Support from Employee Benefit Plans, David Clayton Carrad (3d ed., American Bar Association 2009). Location: Law KF 3512 .C37 2009. Chapter 11 covers the division of military retired pay.
- The Military Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide to Representing Military Personnel and Their Families, Mark E. Sullivan (2d ed., American Bar Association 2011). Location: Law KF 535 .S85 2011.
- Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act Legal Overview
- USFSPA FAQs
- Application for Former Spouse Payments from Retired Pay (DD Form 2293) [PDF]
Military Information for Lawyers
- The Appeal Process for Veterans’ Claims: Overview, Analysis, and Statistics, Andy M. Tarnow ed. (Nova Science Pubs. 2013). Location: Law KF 7713 .A96 2013.
- The Attorney’s Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court, Brockton D. Hunter & Ryan C. Else eds. (Veterans Defense Project 2014). Location: Law KF 7709 .A7 A88 2014.
- A Judge’s Benchbook for the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, John S. Odom (ABA Publishing 2011). Location: Law KF 7680 .O326 2011
- Military Service and the Law, Joseph Butler & Brian Clauss eds. (ABA Publishing 2010). Location: Law KF 7745 .M55 2010.
- Veterans Appeals Guidebook: Representing Veterans in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Ron Smith ed. (ABA 2013). Location: Law KF 7713 .V48 2013.
- ABA Home Front - Legal Resources for Military Families
Page updated: 25 April 2017