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Joint Jurisdiction – Part II

Criminal prosecution in both federal and state courts is also a possibility under the Constitution. The double jeopardy clause does not apply here because of the involvement of the state and federal governments. As a matter of policy, however, a service member whose trial is pending who has been tried by a state court is ordinarily not tried by court-martial for the same offense.

Committing an offense overseas may result in a trial conducted by the host nation. Under international law, a foreign nation possesses jurisdiction to punish offenses committed within its borders by members of a visiting force, unless it consents to yield its jurisdiction to the visiting sovereign. The U.S. has concluded Status of Forces agreements with a number of host nations that indicate which sovereign will have primary jurisdiction over which offenses.

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