Article 98 Noncompliance with Procedural Rules
This article of the UCMJ covers incidents where procedural rules have not
been complied with. When unnecessary delays are noted in the handling
of a case pertaining to offenses under this chapter, the person responsible
can be charged with violation of this article. Two situations are covered
under Article 98 as follows: unnecessary, unjustifiable delay in disposing
a trial and failure to enforce code or failure to comply with the code.
a) Unnecessary delays while disposing of a trial
- That the accused was in charge of carrying out a specific duty in connection
with a case involving a person who stands accused under the UCMJ.
- That the accused was fully aware that he had been charged with this duty.
- That there was delay in the disposition of this case.
- That the delay was a result of the accused individual's action or lack
- That considering the prevailing circumstances, there is no justification
for the delay.
Note: Circumstantial evidence may be allowed during trial to establish
that the accused had knowledge of his assigned duty.
Maximum Punishment: Persons charged with violation of this article face maximum punishment
comprising bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all allowances and pay
as well as six months confinement.
b) Failure to enforce the code or failure to comply with the code
- That the accused did not comply with the specific article of the UCMJ regulating
a process that was carried pre- trial, post- trial or during the trial
of a person.
- That the accused was assigned the duty of enforcing the code or complying
with the code.
- That the accused was fully aware that he had been assigned this duty.
- That the accused deliberately and intentionally failed to comply with or
enforce the code.
Note: The word 'intentionally' means that the accused did not fail
to comply with the code or fail to enforce by accident or negligence or
by misunderstanding the law in good faith. He did so on purpose with clear
understanding of his failure and its impact.
Maximum Punishment: The accused faces dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances
and five years confinement as maximum punishment for violating this article.
To learn more about this punitive article refer to the Manual for Courts Martial.
Points to Note about Article 98
- Circumstantial evidence to prove intent and knowledge is generally admissible
in these trials.
- A person can be accused of violating this article only when his duties
include some action that is relevant to the disposition of the case in question.
- The use of unlawful command influence (Article 37) may be dealt with under