HOME

TheInfoList




The term convening authority is used in
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
military law Military justice (also military law) is the legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law (legal system), civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations o ...
to refer to an individual with certain legal powers granted under either the
Uniform Code of Military Justice The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. §§ 801–946 is the foundation of Military justice, military law in the United States. It was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United St ...
(i.e. the regular military justice system) or the
Military Commissions Act of 2009 The Military Commissions Act of 2009, which amended the Military Commissions Act of 2006, was passed to address concerns by the United States Supreme Court. In '' Boumediene v. Bush'' (2008) the court had ruled that the Military Commissions A ...
(for the
Guantanamo military commissions The Guantanamo military commissions are military tribunals authorized by presidential order, then by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and currently by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 for prosecuting detainees held in the United States ...
).


Uniform Code of Military Justice

The term "convening authority" is used in the
Uniform Code of Military Justice The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. §§ 801–946 is the foundation of Military justice, military law in the United States. It was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United St ...
(UCMJ) when referring to an individual whose function is of critical importance in the US military justice system. The persons who may exercise this authority are defined in article 22 () for general court-martial, article 23 () for special court-martial, and article 24 () for summary court-martial. The convening authority decides on the disposition of cases to investigation and trial, and also selects the members of a court-martial. The appointees serve as the military judge and members of the "panel", which decides the guilt or innocence of a person standing trial before the court-martial or military commission. When an enlisted member is on trial, he or she may demand that enlisted members be included on the panel. The court-martial then reports back to the convening authority their recommended verdict. Unlike a civilian trial, the convening authority's "command prerogative" entitles them to amend or overturn the sentence of a court-martial. However, the convening authority may not set aside a finding of not guilty or increase the severity of a recommended punishment. While normally only exercised in practice by members of the armed forces, six civilian officials can also act as a convening authority: the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
, the
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
, the three "service secretaries" (the
Secretary of the Army The secretary of the Army (SA, SECARM or SECARMY) is a senior civilian official within the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive departments, exec ...
,
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
, and
Secretary of the Air Force The secretary of the Air Force, sometimes referred to as the secretary of the Department of the Air Force, (SecAF, or SAF/OS) is the head of the Department of the Air Force The United States Department of the Air Force (DAF) is one of the t ...
), and the
Secretary of Homeland Security The United States secretary of homeland security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public sec ...
(when the
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
is under the
United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North Ame ...
and has not been transferred to the Department of the Navy under the
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) The Department of Defence (DoD) is a Government department, department of the Government of Australia charged with ...
).


Military Commissions Act

The individual in over-all charge of the
Guantanamo military commissions The Guantanamo military commissions are military tribunals authorized by presidential order, then by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and currently by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 for prosecuting detainees held in the United States ...
is also called the convening authority, Their position broadly mirrors the provisions found in the
Uniform Code of Military Justice The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. §§ 801–946 is the foundation of Military justice, military law in the United States. It was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United St ...
. The first three incumbents were civilian officials, although the first and third incumbents, John D. Altenburg and Bruce MacDonald, were retired military
flag officer A flag officer is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which the officer exercises command. The term is used differently in different countr ...
s.
Susan J. Crawford Susan J. Crawford (born April 27, 1947) is a US lawyer, who was appointed the Convening Authority for the Guantanamo military commissions, on February 7, 2007. United States Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appointed Craw ...
, the second convening authority, had been a long-term senior civilian lawyer for the Department of Defense, eventually serving as the
Inspector General An inspector general is an investigative official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that o ...

Inspector General
.


See also

*
Military Commissions Act of 2006 The Military Commissions Act of 2006, also known as HR-6166, was an Act of Congress signed by President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, t ...


References

{{U.S.-Mil-Judicial Military justice Court-martial