Law and War, Magistrates in The Great War

The publisher has a fine tradition of publishing books on topics that are much under-reviewed. The author has provided a very rare glimpse into the work of Magistrates during the Great War. An original and fascinating account in the effects of total global war on society at home.


http://reviews.firetrench.com

http://adn.firetrenh.com

http://brn.firetrench.com

http://nthn.firetrench.com

NAME: Law and War, Magistrates in The Great War
FILE: R2481
AUTHOR: Jonathan Swan
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  269
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, First World War, The Great
War, 1914-1918, Home Front, law & order, Civil Power, legal service, 
justice service

ISBN: 1-47385-337-0

IMAGE: B2481.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mdyzapm
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The publisher has a fine tradition of publishing books on 
topics that are much under-reviewed. The author has provided a very 
rare glimpse into the work of Magistrates during the Great War. An 
original and fascinating account in the effects of total global war on 
society at home. 

With all of the books published over the last hundred years on the 
Great War and, even more so on WWII, there are a number of omissions 
in the topics covered. Very little thought has been given to the 
significant changes to society and social order during these conflicts, 
in terms of policing, counter intelligence and the dispensation of law 
and justice. This is even more surprising when the enormous popularity 
of true crime stories and novels is considered.

The Magistrate's role has never attracted much attention, even though 
it has been the backbone of British law since the Middle Ages. 
Magistrates were unpaid and mostly untrained in law. They were the 
first stage of judgement by peers, dealing with the many smaller 
malefactions and protecting the accused and society in the case of 
major crime that would then be considered by judges and juries. In 
fine legal detail, the Magistrate is advised by the Court Clerk where 
necessary, but he or she does not have to have been previously part 
of the legal profession as a solicitor or barrister. It has been 
remarked that this leads to the dispensation of justice, based on 
experience, observation, and common sense, where the higher courts 
dispense the law in all of its complexity, all too often justifying 
the accusation that the Law Is A Ass.

The Great War saw the Home Front as very much part of the Front Line, 
suffering coastal bombardment and air raids, where the civilian 
population was frequently the primary target. Most of the men were 
volunteers or draftees into the military machine. Women continued to 
work domestically, but a great many were also holding down jobs, 
including very dangerous jobs, that had previously been the exclusive 
work of men. Society was dramatically changed and one consequence was 
a rapid reduction of much traditional crime as the criminal classes 
had been drafted into the military. Prisons closed for lack of 
occupants and traditional court cases declined, but many new laws had 
been rushed in to meet wartime needs, giving Magistrates little respite.

The author has described this set of processes and their impact on the 
enforcement of law as it affected Magistrates. In particular he has 
explained DORA, Defence of the Realm Act, and the other laws that were 
introduced to address new requirements. There is a most interesting 
photo-plate section and this is a long overdue account of a very 
important aspect of the Great War.