Court Martial Standard Operating Procedure
Court Martial Standard Operating Procedures are the instructions for how to conduct a Field Court Martial as permitted by the Sol Code of Uniform Justice. Failing to follow this procedure is a grave offence.
The Commanding Officer, and only the Commanding Officer, can authorize a Field Court-Martial in order to try members of the Defence Forces or other SCG citizens subject to the SCUJ for SCUJ Offenses or High Crimes. In the event that the Commanding Officer is absent or unavailable, an Executive Officer can authorize and chair a Field Court-Martial. Other Line Officers are not able to call a Field Court-Martial at any time, for any reason.
Individuals sitting before a court martial must understand their rights, and the following procedures, and must be found mentally and physically sound by the ranking medical officer of the command.
Purpose: To try eligible personnel for violations of the SCUJ or SCG Law. Punishments range from imprisonment within the SolGov penal system, to execution as seen fit by the Field Court-Martial. [[Sol Gov Law|The extent of these punishments can be found here: Sol Central Government Law.
Overview: A Field Court-Martial must be composed of the commanding officer or the executive officer in the capacity of an acting commanding officer and the next two ranking line officers (including the executive officer, if the commanding officer is presiding). If no line officers are available, staff officers may be used.
The accused, the investigator of the case, and the immediate superior of the accused may not sit on a Court-Martial.
The SCGR may observe a Field Court-Marshal but may not have any say or vote over the proceedings.
Process: The Field Court-Martial is convened with all necessary individuals in an official place, such as the meeting room. It is suggested that a record-keeper, such as the SCGR, be selected and allowed to record the events of the Court-Martial.
The presiding Officer of the Field Court-Martial introduces the case to the rest of the Field Court-Martial. The only information that should be included in the introduction is: The name of the accused, the accuser, the charges, and the available sentences.
The accused is brought before the Court-Martial. An impartial investigator, most likely the vessel’s Forensic Technician, presents the facts of the case to the Court-Martial, including witness statements and forensic data. The Court Martial may ask questions of the investigator at this time.
The accuser may speak if they so wish. The Court Martial may ask questions of the accuser at this time.
The accused may speak if they so wish. The Court Martial may ask questions of the accused at this time.
During this process, the presiding officer has the authority to expel anyone who violates these procedures from the premises of the trial. Interrupting a speaker, officer, member(s) of the Court-Martial, and so forth are grounds for expulsion and an NJP. However, if it is deemed fit and within reason, the offender may be charged with greater offenses.
Conviction: A vote is held between the members of the Field Court-Martial, to determine guilt. If there is a tie, the presiding Officer acts as tie-breaker.
Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, their sentence is decided by the presiding Officer.