Glossary: Common military court terms

Article 32 Hearing: preliminary hearing where a convening authority determines whether enough evidence is present to merit a court-martial.

Court-Martial: general term for the military court system that hears criminal charges against members of the military. Heard by a judge or a panel of officers; a member of the JAG Corps serves as prosecutor and an appointed military lawyer (or privately hired lawyer) represents the accused.

Docket: a schedule of a court’s proceedings, including party names, nature of charges and other information. A case docket contains the same information for one case, and a listing of every event in the case, including documents filed and hearings held.

JAG: Judge Advocates General; military attorneys.

Manual for Courts-Martial: created by a presidential Executive Order, it sets out procedures governing all court-martial proceedings.

NIMJ: National Institute for Military Justice; non-profit non-government organization formed to advance fair administration of military justice and further public understanding of the military’s courts.

PAO: Public Affairs Officer; the military’s spokesperson for a particular court with whom a civilian must arrange any base visits to attend court proceedings.

UCMJ: Uniform Code of Military Justice; congressional code of military criminal law that applies to all members of the military.