The UCMJ established a system of separate military courts, the “court martial”, in which trials involving military personnel were held. The decrees published in the Handbook of Martial implement the UCMJ provisions on courts martial. Various forms of military tribunals and commissions make up the court martial system. The three most common forms of military tribunals are found in the UCMJ: general courts martial, special courts martial and summary courts martial. The U.S. Constitution authorized the creation of a military justice system. Article I, Section 8 allows the U.S. Congress to “enact rules governing and regulating land and naval forces.”  Congress first enacted these rules in 1806 as an article of war. Military justice during the American Civil War was governed by the Lieber Code of 1863. The articles of war were replaced by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in 1951.
Military lawyers perform important functions for the military. They can be both civilian lawyers and lawyers who are themselves military personnel. The U.S. military operates under its own laws and procedures. Legal officers work to enforce military rules and defend military personnel against allegations of rule violations. Legal officers have an opportunity to be part of this important work. Military law covers persons who serve in a branch of the U.S. armed forces and deals with related rules and regulations. Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to act in military matters, military law is part of federal law. Legal officers serve in the Judge Advocate General of a particular branch of service.
Military law is recognized by civilian courts and is considered effective in time of peace and war. Every state needs a code of laws and regulations for the creation, maintenance and management of its armed forces, all of which can be considered an area of military law. However, the term is generally limited to military disciplinary law, as defined above, that is, the part of the Code designed to maintain and punish discipline in the armed forces. In the past, this was also known as martial law, a term that now has the meaning of the military application of order against a civilian population, either in the occupied territories or in times of disorder. There are no federal or military prisons in Germany. If a soldier is sentenced to up to six months` imprisonment, the sentence is carried out by the administration of the soldier`s barracks. He will remain in custody for the same period, but will continue to serve in his unit unless the court sets other limits.  Otherwise, soldiers will be held in state civilian prisons. If a soldier is sentenced to one year or more in prison (six months or more for corruption), he is released from the armed forces.  Military justice (also military law) is the legal system (legal and procedural bodies) that governs the conduct of active personnel of a country`s armed forces.
In some nation-States, civil law and military law are different legal bodies, each governing the conduct of civil society and the conduct of armed forces; Each law provides for specific judicial procedures to enforce the law. Legal issues specific to a military justice system include the practical maintenance of good order and discipline, command responsibility, legality of orders, compliance with the Code of Conduct in Time of War, and questions of the legal primacy of civilian or military jurisdiction over civilian crimes and crimes committed by serving military personnel. In other countries, only civilians associated with the armed forces can be tried under military law. In Israel, for example, civilians employed by the army or armed with weapons are subject to military law, as are those detained by the army. Under British military law, civilians accompanying forces stationed in a foreign country (including soldiers` families as well as British civilians working for or with the services) can be charged with violations of the good order of the military community. In the United States, however, civilians – even those who are part of a military community abroad – cannot be tried at all in peacetime as part of the military process, although they may be subject to military jurisdiction in wartime. Austria and Spain are among the countries where no civilian can be placed under military jurisdiction. Unlike other crimes, military crimes have separate penal zones for peace and war. During war, crimes have a much wider range of penalties, and if the crime poses a threat to the military unit, the range of penalties is even more severe.