The summary court-martial process
Information on after action review of summary court-martial:
Article 64, UCMJ, and R.C.M. 1112 require that all summary courts-martial be reviewed by a judge advocate who has not been disqualified by acting in the same case as an accuser, investigating officer, member of the court-martial, military judge, or counsel, or has otherwise acted on behalf of the prosecution or defense.
- R.C.M. 1112 states, however, that no review under this section is required if the accused has not been found guilty of an offense or if the convening authority disapproved all findings of guilty.
- The judge advocate’s review is a written document containing the following:
- A conclusion as to whether the court-martial had jurisdiction over the accused and over each offense for which there is a finding of guilty which has not been disapproved by the convening authority;
- A conclusion as to whether each specification, for which there is a finding of guilty which has not been disapproved by the convening authority, stated an offense;
- A conclusion as to whether the sentence was legal; and
- A response to each allegation of error made in writing by the accused.
- After the judge advocate has completed the review, most cases will have reached the end of mandatory review and will be considered final within the meaning of Article 76, UCMJ. If this is the case, the judge advocate review will be attached to the original record of trial and a copy forwarded to the accused.
- The review is not final, however, and a further step is required if the judge advocate recommends corrective action. If this is the case, it will require the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) to forward the record of trial to the GCMCA. With the SJA’s review in hand, the GCMCA will take action on the record of trial in a document similar to CA’s action. He will promulgate it in a similar fashion as well. He may disapprove or approve the findings or sentence in whole or in part; remit, commute, or suspend the sentence in whole or in part; order a rehearing on the findings or sentence or both; or dismiss the charges.
- If, in her review, the judge advocate stated that corrective action was required as a matter of law, and the GCMCA did not take action that was at least as favorable to the accused as that recommended by the judge advocate, the record of trial must be sent to the Office of The Judge Advocate General (OTJAG) for resolution. In all other cases, however, the review is now final within the meaning of Article 76, UCMJ.