With a general decrease in the number of courts martial that we’re seeing across the board over the past several years, we’re seeing an increase in the number of boards of inquiry.
We’re often asked what is a board of inquiry?
What happens at a board of inquiry?
A – board of inquiry is an elimination process where the military is attempting to fire one of its officers at a board of inquiry. The member can appear with private council, who’s hired as a civilian. And also with what’s known as a detailed military council or a military council who is serving on active duty, who has been appointed or designated to also represent that member at that board of inquiry.
The government’s representative is known as the recorder and that recorder acts almost as a prosecutor on behalf of the government in trying to cause that officer to be eliminated. Those are the parties who appear in front of the board, who constitutes three members. There’s a senior member and two additional voting members. All three of those members listen to all of the evidence, listen to the arguments of counsel and then close to deliberate as to whether or not there is misconduct that has been shown by a preponderance of the evidence.
B – whether or not that misconduct, warrants, elimination for that officer. And if they get to that voting decision of recommending elimination.
C – what should constitute the characterization for that member? Should it be honorable? Should it be general under honorable conditions, or should it be other than honorable conditions discharge?
Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.
Contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 1-888-252-0927
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