The Purpose of the UCMJ
A UCMJ attorney is responsible for knowing the fine points of military law. These skilled lawyers understand the Military Justice System and they how the regulations of the UCMJ are put into effect. “With great privilege comes great responsibility” and with great responsibility comes a higher set of standards. Members of the United States military are privileged to serve their country and receive protection and provision from their country in return. They have a great responsibility to act in an ethical manner that reflects personal character, demonstrates discipline, and embodies the values of the United States. Thus, military members are subject to a distinct justice system – the UCMJ.
In the aftermath of World War II, Congress recognized a profound need for a standardized set of statutes regulating military conduct. Congress has technically had the power to establish military laws since the establishment of the United States Congress, which grants “The Congress shall have the power… to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces” (Article 1, Section 8). Accordingly, Congress has been enacting regulatory laws for periods of war from the early periods of United States’ history. Still, Congress recognized the need for a uniform code of conduct that would consistently apply to all military members despite their duties and contexts. On May 5th, 1950, Congress passed the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and it finally took effect on May 31st, 1951.
UCMJ in Effect
If a member of the military is charged with misconduct or a crime, the Commander has the jurisdiction to choose how to proceed. Not all infractions of the UCMJ go to trial. Some result in “administrative punishments” which act as reprimands. In the case of more serious crimes, the Commander will likely choose a court-martial. If this occurs, most defendants choose to hire a UCMJ attorney.
Importantly, the UCMJ does not just regulate military members who are in subordinate positions. Military law also provides means for military members to file complaints against commanding officers if they see evidence of wrongdoing. In this way, the UCMJ serves as a system of checks and balances, safeguarding against abuses of power or unfair treatment.
A UCMJ Attorney to Defend Your Freedom
A UCMJ attorney has the privilege and responsibility to ensure the fair application of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This set of codes constitute an important federal law, and the lawyers at Military Trial Defenders are equipped to help defendants sort through its intricacies.
We know that military members sacrifice their lives in the name of freedom, and we seek to protect the innocent from unjust rulings and the guilty from inappropriate punishments. Contact us today for more information.