What is COURT OF INQUIRY? Definition of COURT OF INQUIRY in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.
In English law. A court sometimes appointed by the crown to ascertain whether it be proper to resort to extreme measures against a person charged before a courtmartial. 2 Steph.Comm. 590; 1 Coler.Bla.Comm. 418, n.; 2 Brod. & B. 130. Also a court for hearing the complaints of private soldiers. Moz. & W. Diet.; Simmons, Cts.Mart. § 341.
In American law. Formerly, a court constituted by authority of the articles of war, invested with the power to examine into the nature of any transaction of, or accusation or imputation against, any officer or soldier, when demanded by him. Rev.St. § 1342, arts. 115, 116. Repealed by Act June 4, 1920, c. 227, § 4, 41 Stat. 812.
They were not strictly courts, having no power to try and determine guilt or innocence. They were rather agencies created by statute to investigate facts and report thereon. They could not compel the attendance of witnesses nor require them to testify. Davis, Mil. Law 220.
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