High Court Armed Forces Republic of Korea

Military courts in the Republic of Korea are not per se permanently established, meaning, the convening authority must convene a military trial.

The organization is not separate from the chain of command of a military unit. The Korean Military Court Act regulates how to establish and administer military courts intending to ensure fair trial proceedings and commanding authority at the same time.


The Act sets general military courts as trial-level courts and the High Military Court of Korea as the appellate-level court. The Supreme Court of Korea makes a final review of military cases.


In the past, general military courts were established in units led by any general officers, but it created concerns of their independence from the commander and balance of sentencing. Thus, as recently revised in law, the military courts will now be established in higher units. There will be one (1) general military court in Ministry of National Defense, 16 in Army (corps and above), 7 in Navy and Marines (fleet/division and above), and 7 in Air Force. However, the Minister of National Defense retains the authority to install additional general military courts in times of war, national crisis or other similar emergencies.


General military courts have jurisdiction over all types of crimes and all ranks of military persons, and authority to sentence any punishments.


The High Military Court of Korea is established in the Ministry of National Defense. It adjudicates all cases appealed from general military courts under Army, Navy and Air Force.