Military Law and Precedents Military Law and Precedents
By William Winthrop
2000/09 - Beard Books - Law Classic
Volume I - 534 pp.
158798069X - Paperback
Volume II - 583 pp.
1587980703 - Paperback

The state of military law, including rulings and opinions, and the nature and procedure of courts martial as it stood at the close of the Nineteenth Century.

Publisher Comments

Category: Law

This title is part of the Legal History list

This comprehensive treatise details early military law, written and unwritten, and explains all of the intricacies of the courts martial process. Notable adjudications by civil courts and in military trials as well as the opinions of law officers are covered. Separate treatment is offered on the law of war and on the civil functions and relations of the military.

From Schmeckebier: 237

"This is not a mere reprint of statutes and decisions: it is a general commentary on the several subdivisions of military law, with citations to the laws and rulings." 

From AALS Law Books Recommended for Libraries

"Good background material. Unique and indispensable. Frequently cited by Supreme Court and Court of Military Appeals." 

From A.A.L.S. Law Books Recommended for Libraries, List #29 (Military Law), Page 9, "A" Rated.

All law libraries will find this reprint edition to be a valuable research tool in American military law.

From  WILLIAM T. BARTO Lieutenant Colonel, JA

Most military justice practitioners have heard of Colonel William Winthrop's Military Law and Precedents. This nineteenth-century treatise is still frequently cited by the military appellate courts, and has been called "a masterpiece of painstaking scholarship, brilliant erudition, and lucid prose."  However, the disappearance of the printed law library in many military legal offices has made it less likely than ever that the attorney in the field could actually inform her efforts by reference to Military Law and Precedents.

William Winthrop was a colonel in the United States Army and author of The Annotated Digest of Opinions of the Judge Advocates General. He was a member of the practicing bar in 1861 when he entered the military service. 


Chapter I.  The Subject Defined and Divided--Constitutional Provisions 15
Chapter II. The Written Law--Articles of War and other Disciplinary Statutes 17
Chapter III. Army Regulations and Orders 25
Chapter IV. The Unwritten Military Law 41
Chapter V. The Court-Martial--Its History and Nature 45
Chapter VI. The Constitution of General Courts-Martial 57
Chapter VII. The Composition of General Courts-Martial 70
Chapter VIII. The Jurisdiction of the General Courts-Martial 81
Chapter IX. The Procedure of General Courts-Martial--Arrest 110
Chapter X. The Charge 132
Chapter XI. The Formal Ordering, Meeting &c., of the Court 158
Chapter XII. The President and Members 170
Chapter XIII. The Judge Advocate 179
Chapter XIV. Challenges 205
Chapter XV. Organization--Arraignment--Continuance--Nolle Prosequi 231
Chapter XVI. Pleas and Motions 249
Chapter XVII. The Trial: Hours of Session--Opening--Course of Proceedings--Defence--Statement--Contempt 281
Chapter XVIII. Evidence 313
Chapter XIX. The Finding 374
Chapter XX. Sentence and Punishment 390
Chapter XXI. Action on the Proceedings--The Reviewing Authority 447
Chapter XXII. Inferior Courts-Martial and Military Boards 490
Chapter XXIII. The Record 502
Chapter XXIV. Courts of Inquiry 516
Chapter XXV. The Articles of War Separately Considered 534


The Law of War.

The Law of War as Affecting the Rights of our Own People 774
The Law of War as Affecting Intercourse between Enemies in General 776
The Law of War as Specially Applicable to Enemies in Arms 778
The Status of Military Government and the Laws of War thereto pertaining 798
The Status of Martial Law and the Laws of War applicable thereto  817
Trial and Punishment of Offences under the Law of War--the Military Commission 831
Military Authority and Jurisdiction under the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 846


Civil Functions and Relations of the Military.

Employment of the Military in a Civil or Quasi Civil Capacity 863
Liability of the Military to Suit or Prosecution 877
Other Civil Relations of the Military 895
Appendix 901

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