Who Can Attend a Court-Martial?

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A military court-martial is a public hearing. Typically, any member of the public is free to sit in and to observe. That can also include members of the press. Understand that any witness who will potentially provide evidence at that trial will be sequestered away from the trial, so as to prevent them from needlessly being impacted by the testimony of other potential witnesses. Perhaps they are also accused of the same crime, or perhaps there’s another reason that commander has given an order to keep them away from one or more people involved in your trial.

The other major exception to the general rule of your trial being public is that the military judge can exclude members of the public in the event that there’s going to be an evidentiary issue for which they should be excluded. If it involves privacy interests of a complaining witness in a sexual assault trial, or in some cases, if the material is particularly sensitive or classified.

For questions about court-martial access, contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 1­-888-252-0927.

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