World War I and Lawyers: Issues, Cases, and Characters

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The First World War was a turning point not only in the utilization of technology and societies' resources in war but also in the laws of wartime. Launched after a century of relative peace in Europe, all the major belligerents were empires of one kind or another but most would not survive the conflict. National statutes, bilateral and multilateral agreements, and military codes provided a legal basis for the civilian and military actions undertaken before, during, and after this conflict. From the needs of this global and modern war, many new legal issues arose, addressed in laws and cases by lawyers and judges and those trained in the law. The "War to End War" set the legal foundation for all succeeding wars in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The global story of the legal side of WWI and its legacy is now told in this new book. Eighty (80) legal issues are identified from this war, ranging from the ancient rights of kings to deploying modern technology like airplanes and poison gases; from mutiny to blockade; from supplying and funding wars to suppressing dissent; from starving or deporting civilians to executing or ignoring soldiers; and from the impacts on living beings to the impacts on nations. For the legal issues identified, the relevant laws passed and the cases tried are discussed. Some cases are well known, others not but all are tied together in a new manner.

The legal personalities behind the issues, laws, and cases are also presented. Almost 300 lawyers and judges from dozens of countries around the world are brought to life. Some were famous as current or future national or global leaders but perhaps at an earlier time in their life while others were relatively unknown, some of whom gave their lives in service. These people, of differing nationalities, genders, races, cultures, and roles, present a compelling human backdrop to understanding the legal story of the war.

In addition to presenting the story behind these legal issues from across the globe, the book provides practical assistance by linking many of these issues to modern application. Some of the issues presented are useful in understanding and resolving current conflicts (e.g. the use of poison gases). So whether you want to read this book to gain a global and comprehensive perspective on WWI's legal issues, to be entertained by the famous, infamous, or little known cases or the stories of the lawyers and judges involved, discover little-known issues, cases, or personalities from the war period, or gain a background on the modern issues related to war, this book has something for each type of reader: the lawyer, judge, law student, fans of history or the history of war, or the general reader.