Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The Articles of War and the Rules for the Government of the United States Navy which were adopted by the Continental Congress in 1775 were patterned after the corresponding military and naval codes in effect at the time in Great Britain.' Since their initial adoption, they have each been amended on several occasions, and have finally been brought together into a single set of articles known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, enacted in 1950. Similarly, the British statutes and procedures relating to military justice have been revised from time to time, most recently as a result of the experience gained in World War II. In this article it is proposed to compare some of the more important changes introduced in the British system with the corresponding changes in our own. Obviously, space does not permit discussion of each change made. Accordingly, three topics have been selected for detailed treatment: the status and function of the judge advocate or law officer of a court-martial, the status and functions of the Judge Advocate General and of his office and the system of appellate review. An attempt will then be made to summarize some of the other more important changes. Of necessity, emphasis has had to be placed on the general court-martial.