Sol Code of Military Justice
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The Sol Code of Military Justice, or SCMJ, is a code of law and behavior for individuals in the Defense Forces, other organizations under the Committee of Defense and Security, any attached government organizations, and in rare instances, civilians. Soliciting someone to commit a crime, accessory to a crime, attempts to commit a crime, and conspiracy to commit a crime are to be treated as if the perpetrator committed the crime.
Crime in the Sol Central Military
The SCMJ includes both Greater and Lesser Offenses. Greater Offenses are criminal acts that should be treated similarly to violations of SCG Law if committed by an individual under the SCMJ. Lesser Offenses should be dealt with using non-judicial punishments (NJPs). By definition, civilians can only be tried for violations of certain SCMJ Laws during times of war, or in a combat situation (i.e. code Red or above).
Punishments according to the Sol Code of Military Justice are divided into two categories: judicial and non-judicial. Judicial punishment typically involves the conducting of a court martial and is only reserved for greater offenses. Non-judicial punishments (NJPs) are used in the case of lesser offenses and allow the issuing officer or non-commissioned officer a greater degree of flexibility in punishment depending on the degree of the offense committed.
Any individuals subject to the SCMJ are eligible for trial under court-martial, including field courts-martial, which are authorized during active deployment. Civilians are only eligible for trial under courts-martial for certain crimes committed during times of war or in combat (code Red or above); these crimes are marked in the Abbreviated SCG Law High Crimes list. The SCMJ is enforced by Line Officers and those they specifically authorize to do so. Masters at Arms should be available to assist Line Officers in executing the SCMJ, but should not be actively pursuing enforcement on their own for Lesser Offenses.
In the event of imminent loss of a position, vessel, or facility (Code Delta), Line Officers, and those they specifically authorize, may summarily charge, sentence, and punish individuals subject to the SCMJ for violations of SCG Law or the SCMJ. Punishments up to and including Execution are permitted.
In absence of Line Officers, Staff Officers or the ranking NCO may exercise the same rights of Summary Justice as Officer
The highest principles of the SCMJ, which members of the defense forces and other uniformed services swear to uphold in their oath of enlistment or commissioning, are:
- To support and defend the Sol Central Government and its Charter against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
- To bear true faith and allegiance to the Sol Central Government and its Charter.
- To obey the lawful orders of the Secretary-General, and the orders of appointed superiors according to regulations and the Sol Code of Military Justice.
This includes uniform and behavior standards.
The SCMJ allows officers and non-commissioned officers to administer Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP) upon their subordinates at their discretion for violations of SCMJ or misbehavior as necessary. NJPs are typically administered as punishment for the committing of any number of the lesser crimes listed below or, occasionally, for general misbehavior or misconduct. Generally, an officer will not personally give NJPs, instead allowing senior enlisted members of their unit to handle discipline.
Forfeiture of Pay: Similar to a fine in practice, docking some or all pay for a certain length of time. Notably this and relief from command are the only NJPs that can be applied to Officers.
Relief from Duty: Being removed from a position of authority or responsibility. This can only be applied to Officers by the CO, or to Enlisted by Officers.
Extra Duty: Similar to the legal concept of hard labor, generally grunt work for the purposes of punishment, like janitorial work, or replacing all of the meteor-protection grilles. This is what you’re seeing in fiction when some asshole says, “Clean the latrines using only your hands.” Unlike fictional assholes, you’re restricted to duty that doesn’t violate laws against Maltreatment.
Diminished Rations: Looks like you’ll miss the chef’s cooking when you’re eating only liquid food for the next week.
Reduction in Rank: A maximum of two ranks can be removed, once again, this only applies to Enlisted.
Reprimand: Entirely RP chewing-out, written or verbal.
These are the most common NJPs; however, NJPs are not restricted to this list.
These punishments are also technically NJPs, but are less official, and probably toe the line a little. Creative Punishments is the catch-all term for the type of thing seen in boot camp movies, “Drop and give me 50!” and the like. It’s unlikely PT punishments would be used outside of a training environment by anyone other than a complete asshole, but something like forcing a private first class who harassed the Chef to be the Chef’s subordinate for the shift would be more likely to occur.
These punishments are created are as varied as your sadistic minds.
In the event of a greater offense, the SCMJ provides that a court-martial must be conducted to determine guilt and sentence. In the event a field court-martial (aboard the vessel) cannot be conducted for any reason, measures may be taken to provide for the confinement of the offender until transfer, or the offender may be issued a summary NJP and an order to appear before a court martial once the vessel returns to dock.
The only exception to this regulation is on code Delta or in other situations where summary justice may be authorized.
Unlike the crimes outlined under Sol Gov Law, punishment for these offenses are up to the punishing officer or court-martial. Greater Offenses should be punished by a court-martial, unless doing so is not a feasible option, in which case confinement until transfer is usually the best option, alongside any NJPs as appropriate. Lesser Offenses CAN be tried by a court-martial, but it’s suggested that they be dealt with via NJPs.
Greater Offenses (Court-Martial)
|Desertion||To abandon a post or Duty without permission, without the intention of returning.||Fairly serious, if committed during lower alerts, confinement until transfer is appropriate. If committed during an attack, or high alert, execution is not uncalled for.|
|Assaulting or Disobeying an Officer||To directly disobey a lawful command given by an Officer, or to attack them while they are carrying out their duties. (Which is pretty much all the time, does not apply when security has to arrest an Officer)||Can only be applied to Enlisted, depending on the severity, confinement until transfer may be appropriate, otherwise brig time tends to suffice.|
|Misbehavior Before the Enemy||To run away, surrender, abandon a command or materiel, or to commit cowardly acts in the presence of the enemy.||This really only applies when the vessel is under attack, and does not apply to unarmed combatants. For example, if an unarmed engineer comes across mercenaries, it’s not Misbehavior to fall back. Misbehavior would be for that same engineer to seek out the mercenaries in order to surrender. For armed personnel, Misbehavior is surrendering without a fight of any kind, such as throwing down weapons and opening the bridge when bad guys arrive. Being fought into a surrender is not Misbehavior. If a serious case, such as the aforementioned surrendering of the bridge without a fight while armed, execution is an appropriate punishment.|
|Compelling Surrender||To compel a superior to surrender themselves, personnel under their command, or material under their command.||Only applies to subordinates advising that superiors surrender, or surrendering for a superior without authorization.|
|Misbehavior of a Sentinel||To, as a guard or sentinel, leave an assigned post without authorization, or to be drunk or asleep at that assigned post.||Applies mostly to members of security on duty, as the Torch is their “post.”|
|Mutiny/Sedition||To openly oppose, seek to radically change, or overthrow a lawful military or civilian authority. To promote insurrection against the lawful order through speech, organization, or overt conduct.||Was torn up about including this in Law, but I’d rather keep it at “rioting” over there, and have Mutiny be a military thing. If found guilty of mutiny, execution is the standard course of action unless there are major extenuating circumstances. Note that this isn't just talking about change in the government, this is a member of the military trying to overthrow it.|
Lesser Offenses (NJP)
|Misuse of Captured or Abandoned Property||To fail to collect, secure, and store captured or abandoned gear of a sensitive nature.||Mostly applies to security playing with captured merc guns.|
|Absence Without Leave (AWoL)||To be absent from, or leave a place of duty without authorization.||Distinct from Desertion because someone who is AWoL intends to return, or did not intend to miss duty.|
|Misconduct as a Prisoner||To, while a prisoner of the enemy, and in order to secure favorable treatment, act in a way that is a detriment to fellow prisoners or the Sol Central Government.||Giving up sensitive information or other such aid to captors in exchange for favorable treatment like release or better quarters. This isn’t just giving in to torture.|
|False Official Statements||To lie or otherwise deceive in an official capacity.||This would be lying on an official report or in a Court-Martial.|
|Fraternization||To form inappropriate relationships with, or to interact with immediate superiors or subordinates in an inappropriate manner.||Don't date anyone that is in command of you or you are in command of.|
|Misuse of Military or Government Property||To damage, dispose of, destroy, lose, or sell property of the Sol Central Government or one of its organizations.||No more selling your departmental gear to the Vox traders for shiny bits. Note that this means all property of the SCG, not just major equipment.|
|Inebriation on Duty||To drink to excess or impairment while on duty.||Applies to people who aren’t security.|
|Conduct Unbecoming||To commit conduct unbecoming an Officer and a member of the SCG Defense Forces.||For Officers that are rude/crass/unprofessional. Really up to the person who charges it.|
|General Article||To commit conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.||Basically the charge applied when they haven’t technically broken a rule, but you know they’re doing something wrong.|
|Insubordination||To knowingly disobey an order given by a superior.||Disobeying orders given by superiors that aren’t Officers, or being uppity to superiors.|
|Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation||To fail to obey or follow an official regulation or order.||This includes Uniform Regs/Military Conduct, and more importantly includes Obeying an Unlawful Order. Note that unlike Disobeying an Officer, an offender does not need willful intent to violate this article.|
|Noncompliance with Procedure||To knowingly fail to enforce or obey an official procedure.||This is failing to obey SOP/Arrest Procedure/Trial Procedure.|
|Negligent Use of Equipment||To, through negligence or intent, discharge a firearm, arm an explosive, or otherwise misuse dangerous equipment.||Don't shoot mice with a laser pistol, or throw cleaning grenades into the mess hall.|