United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 07, 2023
Art. 34. Advice to convening authority before referral for trial
Before referral of charges and specifications to a general court-martial for trial, the convening authority shall submit the matter to the staff judge advocate for advice, which the staff judge advocate shall provide to the convening authority in writing. The convening authority may not refer a specification under a charge to a general court-martial unless the staff judge advocate advises the convening authority in writing that—
the specification alleges an offense under this chapter;
there is probable cause to believe that the accused committed the offense charged; and
a court-martial would have jurisdiction over the accused and the offense.
Together with the written advice provided under paragraph (1), the staff judge advocate shall provide a written recommendation to the convening authority as to the disposition that should be made of the specification in the interest of justice and discipline.
When a convening authority makes a referral for trial by general court-martial, the written advice of the staff judge advocate under paragraph (1) and the written recommendation of the staff judge advocate under paragraph (2) with respect to each specification shall accompany the referral.
Before referral of charges and specifications to a special court-martial for trial, the convening authority shall consult a judge advocate on relevant legal issues.
Before referral for trial by general court-martial or special court-martial, changes may be made to charges and specifications—
to correct errors in form; and
when applicable, to conform to the substance of the evidence contained in a report under section 832(c) of this title (article 32(c)).
In this section, the term “referral” means the order of a convening authority that charges and specifications against an accused be tried by a specified court-martial.
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–209, § 4,
Dec. 6, 1983, 97 Stat. 1395; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title XVII, § 1702(c)(3)(B), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 957; Pub. L. 113–291, div. A, title V, § 531(a)(4)(B), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3363; Pub. L. 114–328, div. E, title LVI, § 5205, Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2907; Pub. L. 117–81, div. A, title V, § 537, Dec. 27, 2021, 135 Stat. 1697.)
cite as: 10 USC 834