Friday, April 18, 2014

Luftwaffe military justice in World War II

Former Reichskriegsgericht
Light reading it isn't, but fascinating and well worth the time: Capt. Edith Rose Gardner, Military Justice in the German Air Force During World War II, 49 J. Crim. L., Criminology & Police Sci. 195 (1958). Exclusive military jurisdiction over offenses by military personnel was abolished in 1919. During the Weimar Republic period offenses were tried in the civilian courts. Prosecutors were civilians, but military lawyers protected the interests of the accused. "Only the units of the Navy afloat were permitted to retain the traditional concept and function of military law." P. 196. The Nazi government reinstituted military justice by a May 12, 1933 decree. Capt. Gardner concluded, surprisingly, by observing that "the military justice system of the former [German Air Force] may prove a satisfactory guide for the present forces of the Federal Republic of Germany." P. 211.

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