Federation Manual for Courts-Martial

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In the event that a court-martial is convened, the Federation Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM) governs all affaris and proceedings. Below you will find an outlined view of the MCM.

Part 1: Preamble

The sources of military law include the Articles of Federation, General Orders, and intergalactic law (intergalactic law includes treaties, alliances, and rules of war). Military law includes jurisdictions applied by courts-martial and commanders with respect to nonjudicial punishment. The purpose of military law is to maintain good order among the forces in Star Fleet, promote justice, and thereby strengthen the security of the United Federation of Planets.

Part 2: Rules for Courts-Martial

Chapter 1: General Provisions

Rule 101: Scope

The Manual for Courts-Martial governs the procedures and punishments for all courts-martial and, unless expressly forbidden, all preliminary and appelate activities.

Rule 102: Purpose

The purpose of this manual is to provide for the fair determination of all matters relating to the exercise of courts-martial.

Rule 103: Unlawful Command Influence

No convening authority or any other person subject to this code may attempt to coerce or influence the outcome of the trial through any unauthorized means.

Rule 104: Communications With Staff Judge Advocates

The convening authority is allowed to communicate directly with staff judge advocates (of Star Fleet's Judge Advocate General Office) in matters relating to the administration of justice.

Rule 105: Delivering Military Offenders to Civilian Authorities

Under such circumstances as the Minister of Defense determines, military members accused of crimes by a civilian authority may be delivered to the civilian authority upon request.

Rule 106: Rules of Court

The Judge Advocate General of Star Fleet may create rules of conduct inconsistent with these rules for the conduct of courts-martial. Such rules should be disseminated by the Judge Advocate General to the appropriate judge advocates. Copies of all rulings issued under this rule should be forwarded to the Judge Advocate General immediately.

Rule 107: Supervision of Military Judges and Counsel

The professional supervision of military judges, staff judge advocates, and all other military personnel governed by this manual is the responsibility of the Judge Advocate General. To discharge this responsibility the Judge Advocate General may prescribe professional rules of conduct and sanctions for those violating such codes.

Chapter 2: Jurisdiction

Rule 201: General

The jurisdiction of a court-martial is entirely penal. The jurisdiction is not affected by the location of the alleged offense committed; this jurisdiction applies to all Star Fleet personnel in all places. The court-martial must be convened by an official with the power to convene it and must follow this code in accordance with the numbers of qualifications of all members. The court-martial may punish any person with contempt who disrupts the court proceedings by any means. Courts-martial have exlusive jurisdiction in purely military matters.

Rule 202: Jurisdiction Over the Offense

Pursuant to the Articles of Federation, courts-martial may try any offense subject to the Federation Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and any offense governed under the intergalactic rules of war.

Rule 203: Reserve Personnel

The Minister of Defense may create any rules and regulations regarding the administration of courts-martial and nonjudicial punishment of the reserve components of Star Fleet subject to the limitations of the UCMJ.

Chapter 3: Initiation of Charges; Pretrial Confinement; Related Matters

Rule 301: Reporting Offenses

Any person may report a court-martial offense. Generally, such offenses should be reported to the commander of the suspect. Any military authority who receives a report of criminal wrong-doing should forward that report to the suspect's commander as soon as possible.

Rule 302: Apprehension

Apprehension is the taking of a person into physical custody. Star Fleet security officers of any rank and all commissioned, warrant, petty, and noncommissioned officers on active or reserve duty may apprehend a person. No person subject to this code may be apprehended without probable cause that they have committed or are committing a crime. Any person involved in the apprehension of another may use only such force as deemed reasonable for that specific situation. No warrant is required for the apprehension of suspects on military property, however, such warrants duly signed by a judge are required when apprehending a suspect on non-miitary property unless exigent circumstances exist.

Rule 303: Pretrial Inquiry

Upon receipt of information that a member of his/her command has been accused or is suspected of committing a crime, the commanding officer must make a preliminary inquiry into the charges or suspected offenses. A JAG officer(s) may be assigned to assist in such investigations.

Rule 304: Pretrial Restraint

The person accused or suspected of committing the court-martiable offense shall be restrained until the trial. Restraint inludes conditions on liberty, restriction in lieu of arrest, arrest, or confinement as determined by the convening authority.

Rule 305: Initial Disposition

Ordinarily, each commander has the ability to dispose of charges against members of their command as they see fit. However, a superior commander my withhold offenses in individual cases.

Rule 306: Preferral of Charges

Any person subject to the UCMJ may prefer charges against another member subject to the code. A member may prefer multiple charges and specifications against one or multiple individuals.

Rule 307: Notification to Accused of Charges

The direct superior of the accused shall inform the accused of charges against them, who preferred the charges, and any other pertinent information, if known, as soon as practically possible. If the immediate superior of the accused is unable to inform the accused of the charges, a more superior officer can inform the accussed the charges against him/her.

Chapter 4: Forwarding and Disposition of Charges

Rule 401: Forwarding and Disposing of Charges in General

Only persons authorized to convene court-martials or to administer non-judicial punishments may dispose of charges. When a commander who has the authority to dispose of charges receives charges, that commander must promptly determine the best way to dispose of those charges in the interest of justice and discipline. The commander may forward the charges to a superior commander, if that superior also has the ability to properly dispose of the charges. That superior commander then has the obligation to dispose of the charges as soon as possible.

Rule 402: Action by a Commander Not Authorized to Convene Courts-Martial

When a commander authorized to administer non-judicial punishment but not authorized to convene courts-martial receives charges, that commander may: (1) dismiss any charges, or (2) forward them to a superior officer for further disposition.

Rule 403: Action by Commander Exercising Summary Court-Martial Jurisdiction

When a commander authorized to convene courts-martial receives charges, that commander may: (1) dismiss any charges; (2) forward any charges to a subordinate commander for disposition; (3) forward any charges to a superior commander for disposition; (4) refer charges to a summary court-martial for trial; or (5) direct a pre-trial investigation and, if appropriate, forward the report to a superior commander for disposition.

Rule 404: Action by Commander Exercising Special Court-Martial Jurisdiction

When a commander authorized to convene special courts-martial receives charges, that commander has the same options available under Rule 403.

Rule 405: Pretrial Investigation

No charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a fair and impartial investigation of all the matters pertaining to charges and specifications has been conducted.

  • Note: Information for this page was modified for Fed Space from the Manual For Courts-Martial (2008 Edition) of the United States.