Special Court Martial Law and Legal Definition

Special court martial is a proceeding to hear non capital offenses and prescribe sanctions. The punishments can be in the form of hard labor, dismissal, or extended confinement. It is composed of not less than three members, which include commissioned officers and enlisted members and is presided over by a military judge. The military judge can conduct the trial alone at the request of the accused. 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 anywhere in the world represent him/her, if possible. The maximum punishment a special court martial can adjudge is confinement for 12 months, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for 12 months, reduction to the lowest pay grade and a bad conduct discharge.