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Bernard_Lewis

Law and War: The Magistrates in the Great War

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This is a Pen and Sword title written by Jonathan Swan (author of 'Chelmsford in the Great War'.)

 

It looks at the role of the magistracy in pre-war times and how the changed circumstances of 1914-18 were dealt with by Justices of the Peace.

 

Inevitably, 'Dear old DORA' gets a good airing though many other areas that required the involvement of the magistrates are covered. Swan states that much of the war-related legislation was often rushed, badly drafted and imposed new laws even though perfectly formed existing ones would have fitted the bill.

 

There is information on billeting, on aliens (friendly or otherwise), trading with the enemy, food hoarding, deserters and 'conchies', soldiers' allotments and allowances, sexually transmitted diseases, bogus charities and much more. All from the angle of how the magistracy coped with the new burdens resulting from the need for greater government control over its citizens in time of war.

 

The book included some interesting statistics on wartime offences and was an enjoyable and informative read. 

 

Bernard

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ID: 2   Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Bernard_Lewis said:

often rushed, badly drafted and imposed new laws even though perfectly formed existing ones would have fitted the bill.

Ever the problem, mate.

 

I reckon that, in times of crisis, politicians think that they have to be seen to be doing something.

Edited by John_Hartley

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