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DIGESTS OF SELECTED DECISIONS
GENERAL OF THE NAVY
DEPARTMENT OF THE Navy,
Washington, November 29, 1916.
1. I transmit herewith for your formal approval a copy of “Naval Digest,
1 Served as Acting Judge Advocate General before the Office of the Judge Advocate General was established by the act of June 8, 1880 (21 Stat., 164).
2 Retired June 17, 1902, but continued as Judge Advocate General.
The Naval Digest is a reference book containing digests of decisions and opinions, and information in connection with them. Part of this information has been published from time to time in Court-Martial Orders, General Orders, Index-Digests, Annual Reports, etc., while a great deal of it is published herein for the first time.
The material is classified and arranged alphabetically under convenient reference headings, making it easy to consult and to locate readily any desired information to an extent that was never before possible. Small type has purposely been used in order that all the information contained in the digest might be published in a book of a convenient size. It is not a textbook and does not in any sense supersede the Navy Regulations, Naval Courts and Boards, or any other official publication.
Numerous citations of department file numbers, decisions of civil courts, decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury, opinions of the Attorney General, etc., are published. While these may be of assistance to the service at large, they are published primarily for the future convenience of the department itself, which is thus afforded a reference to the authorities for use in cases involving similar points without having to go over ground which has been fully covered. In many cases subjects consist merely of references to file numbers and other citations. These are published for the information of the department.
No added weight is given to any information because it is published in this volume. As an illustration, the information published in CourtMartial Orders under the heading of "Bulletin” has the same weight after being published in this Digest as it had originally. Since matter herein published might be overruled or amended subsequent to the publication of the Digest, great care should be exercised to ascertain if such has occurred before assigning weight to such matter. With reference to the relative weight of opinions and decisions reference should be made to “JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, 30,” page 316 of this book.
The Navy Regulations, Naval Courts and Boards, and Court-Martial Orders issued subsequent to 1915 should always be consulted and followed in preference to the Naval Digest, for they contain the latest authoritative regulations, decisions, opinions, and information. This is particularly so with reference to matters of form for naval courts-martial procedure and the correct forms and phraseology for charges and specifications.
Particular attention is directed to the heading “WORDS AND PHRASES,' under which heading will be found not only many definitions of Latin words and phrases, legal words, terms, and expressions, but other information, all alphabetically arranged.
The annual Index-Digest of Court-Martial Orders will hereafter be in the nature and form of a Supplement to the Naval Digest, 1916, and thus make a revision of it convenient and practicable when it is desired to issue a new edition.