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.
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
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.