United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 24, 2024
Art. 26. Military judge of a general or special court-martial
A military judge shall be detailed to each general and special court-martial. The Secretary concerned shall prescribe regulations providing for the manner in which military judges are detailed for such courts-martial and for the persons who are authorized to detail military judges for such courts-martial. The military judge shall preside over each open session of the court-martial to which he has been detailed.
A military judge shall be a commissioned officer of the armed forces who is a member of the bar of a Federal court or a member of the bar of the highest court of a State and who is certified to be qualified, by reason of education, training, experience, and judicial temperament, for duty as a military judge by the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which such military judge is a member.
In accordance with regulations prescribed under subsection (a), a military judge of a general or special court-martial shall be designated for detail by the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which the military judge is a member.
Neither the convening authority nor any member of the staff of the convening authority shall prepare or review any report concerning the effectiveness, fitness, or efficiency of the military judge so detailed, which relates to the military judge’s performance of duty as a military judge.
A commissioned officer who is certified to be qualified for duty as a military judge of a general court-martial—
may perform such duties only when the officer is assigned and directly responsible to the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which the military judge is a member; and
may perform duties of a judicial or nonjudicial nature other than those relating to the officer’s primary duty as a military judge of a general court-martial when such duties are assigned to the officer by or with the approval of that Judge Advocate General.
In accordance with regulations prescribed by the President, assignments of military judges under this section (article) shall be for appropriate minimum periods, subject to such exceptions as may be authorized in the regulations.
No person is eligible to act as military judge in a case if he is the accuser or a witness for the prosecution or has acted as preliminary hearing officer or a counsel in the same case.
The military judge of a court-martial may not consult with the members of the court except in the presence of the accused, trial counsel, and defense counsel, nor may he vote with the members of the court.
A military judge may be detailed under subsection (a) to a court-martial or a proceeding under section 830a of this title (article 30a) that is convened in a different armed force, when so permitted by the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which the military judge is a member.
In accordance with regulations prescribed by the President, each Judge Advocate General shall designate a chief trial judge from among the members of the applicable trial judiciary.
cite as: 10 USC 826