UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice

834. Article 34. Advice of Staff Judge Advocate and Reference for Trial

06. Pre-Trial Procedure

(a) Before directing the trial of any charge by general court-martial, the convening authority shall refer it to his staff judge advocate for consideration and advice. The convening authority may not refer a specification under a charge to a general court-martial for trial unless he has been advised in writing by the staff judge advocate that–

(1) the specification alleges an offense under this chapter;

(2) the specification is warranted by the evidence indicated in the report of investigation under section 832 of this title (article 32) (if there is such a report); and

(3) a court-martial would have jurisdiction over the accused and the offense.

(b) The advice of the staff judge advocate under subsection (a) with respect to a specification under a charge shall include a written and signed statement by the staff judge advocate–

(1) expressing his conclusions with respect to each matter set forth in subsection (a); and

(2) recommending action that the convening authority take regarding the specification.

If the specification is referred for trial, the recommendation of the staff judge advocate shall accompany the specification.

(c) If the charges or specifications are not formally correct or do not conform to the substance of the evidence contained in the report of the investigation officer, formal corrections, and such changes in the charges and specifications as are needed to make them conform to the evidence, may be made.

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