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Referral of Charges

Referral occurs when the Commanding Officer/General (also known as the Convening Authority) orders that preferred charges be tried by a specified court-martial.  Charges may be referred to a Summary, Special, or General Court-Martial.  Before referral of charges can occur, the Convening Authority must determine that probable cause exists to believe that an offense triable by court-martial has been committed, that the accused committed it, and that the specification alleges an offense. 

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