Military Justice

Military Justice in the United States

Military Justice

According to the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, the Constitution, in language taken from the articles of confederation, empowers Congress to “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” Congress has enacted Articles of War and Articles for the Government of the Navy since 1775, but in 1950 some things changed.

Military Materials

Military-related laws, regulations, law reviews, etc. are available on Lexis (search in the online directory for the MILTRY library) and on Westlaw (listed in the Database Directory under “Military Law”).

The Uniform Code of Military Justice is codified at 10 U.S.C. Sec. 859 to End (see “United States Code”). Recent editions of the Manual for Courts-Martial are available from the Library of Congress and Lexis (search “Manual for Courts-Martial” in the Publication Name field of the online directory).

To find out the approximate size of a foreign country’s military, check out the end of the country’s listing in The World Fact Book.

Jane’s Defense & Aerospace News is available on ProQuest Dialog.

The Department of Justice posts a Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms and a list of military Acronyms and Abbreviations.

Links to military law web sites are posted on WashLaw’s Military, National Security, & Defense page and the Military Law and Legal Links page by the Air War College. See also Research Guides for Military Law by David P. Dillard and the list of Subject Guidesposted by the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School.

To find books or other materials on a military subject, search the library catalogs atWest Point, the Army War College, the U.S. Naval Academy and/or the U.S. Air Force Academies. Other places to search for military materials include: OCLC’s WorldCat; the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, which links to online agency postings and to Federal Depository Libraries holding the materials; and the catalog of your nearest large public library. You could also look through the bibliographies compiled by the various military academies.

For questions about military books and other publications, you can try calling the library at West Point library (914-938-2230), the Army War College (717-245-3660, -4260 or -4280), the Nimitz Library at the U.S. Naval Academy (410-293-2420), the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School (831-656-2485), and/or the U.S. Air Force Academy Libraries (719-333-2590).

To find military Internet pages, try, which specializes in “.mil” Web sites. Or add “” to a Google search.

Defense Department Materials: The CCH Government Contracts Reporter reprints government procurement materials. Government Attic archives DOD documents obtained with FOIA requests.

Department of Defense manuals and directives are posted in DoD Issuances by the Directives and Records Branch of Washington Headquarters Services. Most DoD privacymaterials are posted by the Defense Privacy Office. Privacy regulations are codified at 32 CFR Subchapter O, particularly Parts 310 and 311. DoD Reports and other technical materials are available through DTIC Online.

Military Commissions: The Air War College posts links to military commission materials, including the Manual for Military Commissions. See also United States Military Commissions: A Quick Guide to Available Resources.

Veterans Law: See the Veterans’ Benefits and Issues Libguide from the John Marshall Law School Library, Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Veterans Law guide from the Regent University School of Law Library.

See Also

Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals
Army Corps of Engineers
Finding People
Military Records
Search Engines
United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Military Justice


Further Reading

Military Justice: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Military Justice. This part provides references, in relation to Military Justice, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Military Justice by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Military Justice and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Military Justice or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Military Justice and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Military Justice. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Military Justice should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Military Justice when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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