Saturday, June 10, 2017

And now for something completely different: a British Army court-martial, compared (Part 2)

In Part 1, I commented on watching some of the R. v. Tompkins court-martial.  One of two major takeaways was the formality of a British court-martial compared to how a U.S. court-martial is conducted.  Here of some thoughts on the differences large and small (aided as always by my gawker-companion, DHS).

The courtroom (at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, US) had a British flag to the right of the judge and the U.S. flag to the left--little different here.  But, and this becomes important, on the wall behind the judge was an official photograph of H.M. The Queen.

At the beginning of the hearing, the judge told spectators that the hearing was being conducted under the laws of England and Wales and military regulations.  He specifically asked that reporters in the audience refrain from publishing the name of the complaining witness.  Name privacy is practiced in the U.S. media so this is a similar practice.  I have prepared tables to reflect the differences in a procedure as the most convenient way to identify differences.

The next part I hope to compare the apparent informality observed in how a British court-martial trial on the merits proceeds with those I experience.

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