General Court Martial Law and Legal Definition

General court martial is a proceeding in which maximum punishment is set for each offense under the Manual of Court Martial. A general court martial can adjudge any sentence authorized by the Manual of Court Martial. The punishment can be in the form of confinement, dismissal of officers, and a number of other forms of punishment including death. The proceeding is presided over by a military judge and not less than five members that include commissioned officers. A military lawyer is appointed to represent the accused without any expense to the accused. However, a member can request that a particular military attorney represent him/her, if possible. The military judge must be a military lawyer. A general court martial has the jurisdiction over all the members of the armed forces.