COURT OF  INQUIRY - Black's Law Dictionary

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 Repealed by Act June 4, 1920, c. 227, § 4, 41 Stat. 812.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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