Article 32 hearing is a legal procedure in the United States military justice system that is similar to a grand jury proceeding in the civilian court system. This hearing is conducted to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a court-martial.
During an Article 32 hearing, a military judge or hearing officer is appointed to preside over the proceedings. The accused is present and represented by legal counsel, and witnesses can be called to testify under oath. The purpose of the hearing is to allow both the defense and prosecution to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments in support of their positions.
If the hearing officer determines that there is enough evidence to support the charges against the accused, the case proceeds to a court-martial. However, if the hearing officer determines that there is not enough evidence to support the charges, the case may be dismissed.
The purpose of an Article 32 hearing is to ensure that the accused's rights are protected and to prevent the military from bringing charges without sufficient evidence.