Relationship of Rules 401 and 402

  • militarydefenselawyers359Rule 402. Relevant evidence generally admissible; irrelevant evidence inadmissible All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States as applied to members of the armed forces, the code, these rules, this Manual, or any Act of Congress applicable to members of the armed forces. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible.
  1. Exclusion of relevant evidence:
    1. The Rule states all relevant evidence is admissible except evidence which falls into any one of the following five categories:
      1. evidence that violates the Constitution;
      2. evidence that violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
      3. evidence that violates the Manual for Courts-Martial;
      4. evidence that violates the Military Rules of Evidence; and
      5. evidence that violates any Congressional limitation which might
        specifically concern courts-martial.
    2. Other relevant evidence may be excluded under Rule 403.
  2. Applying Rule 402. Irrelevant evidence is never admissible. It is not admissible
    because it does not assist the trier of fact in reaching an accurate and fair result.
    The Rule requires the court to address three separate questions before admitting

    1. Does the evidence qualify under Rule 401’s definition?
    2. Does the evidence violate any of the five prohibitions listed in Rule 402?
    3. Does the evidence satisfy any provision requiring a Rule 403 related
      judicial assessment of the probative value of the evidence? See, e.g.,
      Rules 403, 412, 413, 414, 803(6), 804(b)(5), 807, and 1003.

Exclusion of relevant evidence

evidence that violates the Constitution