United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 15, 2024

§ 1044f.
Policies with respect to special trial counsel
(a)
Policies Required.—
The Secretary of Defense shall establish policies with respect to the appropriate mechanisms and procedures that the Secretaries of the military departments shall establish relating to the activities of special trial counsel, including expected milestones for such Secretaries to fully implement such mechanisms and procedures. Subject to subsection (c), the policies shall—
(1)
provide for the establishment of a dedicated office within each military service from which office the activities of the special trial counsel of the military service concerned shall be supervised and overseen;
(2)
provide for the appointment of one lead special trial counsel, who shall—
(A)
be a judge advocate of that service in a grade no lower than O–7, with significant experience in military justice;
(B)
be responsible for the overall supervision and oversight of the activities of the special trial counsel of that service; and
(C)
report directly to the Secretary concerned, without intervening authority;
(3)
ensure that within each office created pursuant to paragraph (1), the special trial counsel and other personnel assigned or detailed to the office—
(A)
are independent of the military chains of command of both the victims and those accused of covered offenses and any other offenses over which a special trial counsel at any time exercises authority in accordance with section 824a of this title (article 24a); and
(B)
conduct assigned activities free from unlawful or unauthorized influence or coercion;
(4)
provide that special trial counsel shall be well-trained, experienced, highly skilled, and competent in handling cases involving covered offenses; and
(5)
provide that commanders of the victim and the accused in a case involving a covered offense shall have the opportunity to provide input to the special trial counsel regarding case disposition, but that the input is not binding on the special trial counsel.
(b)
Uniformity.—
The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that any lack of uniformity in the implementation of policies, mechanisms, and procedures established under subsection (a) does not render unconstitutional any such policy, mechanism, or procedure.
(c)
Special Trial Counsel of Department of the Air Force.—
In establishing policies under subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall—
(1)
in lieu of providing for separate offices for the Air Force and Space Force under subsection (a)(1), provide for the establishment of a single dedicated office from which office the activities of the special trial counsel of the Department of the Air Force shall be supervised and overseen; and
(2)
in lieu of providing for separate lead special trial counsels for the Air Force and Space Force under subsection (a)(2), provide for the appointment of one lead special trial counsel who shall be responsible for the overall supervision and oversight of the activities of the special trial counsel of the Department of the Air Force.
(d)
Military Service Defined.—
In this section, the term “military service” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Space Force.
(Added Pub. L. 117–81, div. A, title V, § 532(a), Dec. 27, 2021, 135 Stat. 1694; amended Pub. L. 117–263, div. A, title V, § 545(a), Dec. 23, 2022, 136 Stat. 2584.)
cite as: 10 USC 1044f