Judge Advocate Law and Legal Definition

Judge Advocate is a designated officer of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC) of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps. Judge Advocate serves as the legal advisor on the staff of a military command. Judge advocates practice international, labor, contract, environmental, tort, and administrative law in military, state, and federal courts. A judge advocate attorney does not need to be licensed to practice law in the state in which he or she practices because they are part of a separate, military system of justice. Judge advocates participate in a military court martial. They administer the oath to other members of the court, advise the court, and acts either as a prosecutor or as a defense counsel for the accused. Each branch of the armed forces has a judge advocate general, an officer who is in charge of all judge advocates and who is responsible for all legal matters affecting that branch of the service. The court of military review in the office of the judge advocate general of the U.S. Army, Navy, or Air Force reviews all sentences. Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy reviews sentences imposed on a member of the Marine Corps.

The judge advocate general holds the rank of major general in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, whereas, in the U.S. Navy judge advocate general is a rear admiral.