Starfleet Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG)
Throughout Starfleet's history, a single legal organization has prevailed, pursuing and achieving justice in military courts of law. This organization is the Judge Advocate General's, or JAG, Corps. Based out of Starfleet's JAG offices on Earth, the fleet's JAGs are responsible for the investigation, prosecution, and defense of the men and women enlisted in Starfleet.
Each holding a legal degree, Starfleet Judge Advocates uphold and protect the rights of Starfleet personnel and the virtues of the Federation and Starfleet Charters. Newly commissioned judge advocates receive immediate responsibility in handling significant legal issues. They encounter a diversified, challenging and rewarding law practice stationed throughout the Federation.
Starfleet Judge Advocates provide legal services in the form of professional advice, representation, support, research, training, and assistance designed to resolve legal issues to commanders, staffs, and other authorized personnel. The JAG commander determines legal requirements based on the mission and the law. Two types of legal services exist: judicial, and defense.
Judicial legal services secure fair and impartial justice proceedings within Starfleet. They perform all judicial duties required or authorized bylaw. Starfleet . Generally, JAG officers will be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of the case they are assigned to. Defense legal services are provided to individual personnel to secure fair and impartial justice and adverse administrative proceedings within Starfleet. Judge Advocates provide defense legal services to those officers which have charges laid against them. They represent personnel before courts-martial, administrative boards, and other proceedings and act as consulting counsel as required by law or regulation or authorized by The JAG Commander.
PROTOCOLS & PROCEDURES
The JAG Commander is contacted by the officer(s) of Starfleet who wish to acquire the services of the JAG, explaining the situation to the JAG Commander. Provided the matter is not trivial or necessary/unjustifiable, the JAG Commander will assign the case to a pair of Judge Advocates. The JAG Officers assigned to the case will contact the Commander of the Simulation upon which the investigation has originated from and inform him/her that an investigation is taking place and why. Upon informing the CO the investigation is taking place, the JAG Officers will begin their investigation and start gathering the facts and evidence relevant to the case.
In criminal cases involving the defense and/or prosecution of Starfleet Officers, a hearing will take place where the JAG Commander will preside and listen to the facts presented. The prosecution will open with their opening statement, followed by the defense's opening statement. Witnesses and material will be presented by the prosecution, which the defense will then cross-examine. After both parties have concluded their cases and delivered their closing statements, the JAG Commander will deliver his/her verdict and comments.
THE JAG CORPS AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS
Do to the latitude given to special operations Commanding Officers and Security Personnel, many of the more mundane functions and legal cases often handled by the JAG corps are obsolete. Special Operations runs on a double standard that is more lenient in regards to violations and treason.
Within Special Operations is a special group of JAG that are case specific and only deal with Spec OPS cases. They have a small fleet of transports available to send them to any vessel that requires them. They are sworn to absolute secrecy and report directly to the Commander of the Special Forces.
The admirals within Special Operations often operate with greater needs in mind then the laws allow. There is, within the special operations charter, a clause that allows them to bend or break the laws without prosecution if they can prove the reasons to be valid within one standard year of the offense. The JAG corps shall determine if the case justifies the ends, and then take appropriate actions.