military law.The branch of public law governing military discipline and other rules regarding service in the armed forces. • It is exercised both in peacetime and in war, is recognized by civil courts, and includes rules far broader than for the punishment of offenders. — Also termed military justice. — Sometimes loosely termed martial law. Cf. MARTIAL LAW.
“Military Law … is largely, but not exclusively, statutory in character, and prescribes the rights of, and imposes duties and obligations upon, the several classes of persons composing its military establishment; it creates military tribunals, endows them with appropriate jurisdiction and regulates their procedure; it also defines military offenses and, by the imposition of adequate penalties, endeavors to prevent their occurrence.” George B. Davis, A Treatise on the Military Law of the United States 1 (3d ed. 1915).
[Blacks Law 8th]