Defense Lawyers in Courts-Martial of the Second Polish Republic Cover Image

Obrońcy w sądownictwie wojskowym II Rzeczypospolitej
Defense Lawyers in Courts-Martial of the Second Polish Republic

Author(s): Tomasz Szczygieł
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego

Summary/Abstract: The peculiarity of military criminal proceedings consisted in their approach and regulation concerning formal defense. This approach had been equally peculiar, since in the inter-war period, it was possible to notice a certain level of distrust towards defense lawyers from outside the military circles, and preference for military personnel or lawyers who used to serve in the military. Such approach was also based upon substantive reasons, since criminal cases presented in courts-martial involved not only a degree of professionalism required of all lawyers, but also an understanding of the military structure and relationships. The defense lawyer’s ability to understand those matters benefitted not only the defendant, but also the military judicial service. This, in turn, had constituted the foundation for the emergence of a small group of lawyers and officers of the judicial service—separate from the defense lawyers appearing before the common courts—who would participate in military court proceedings. This function was performed by some of the most eminent defense lawyers of the inter-war period. For the military judiciary, the function of the military defense lawyer constituted a convenient form of practice for the future military judges and prosecutors, which manifested itself in the practice of assigning assistants and legal interns the role of court-appointed attorneys.

  • Issue Year: 15/2014
  • Issue No: 7
  • Page Range: 117-141
  • Page Count: 25