This book discusses the impact of war on the complex interactions between various actors involved in justice: individuals and social groups on the one hand and 'the justice system' (police, judiciary and professionals working in the prison service) on the other. It also highlights the emergence of new expectations of justice among these actors as a result of war. Furthermore, the book addresses justice practices, strategies for coping with the changing circumstances, new forms of negotiation, interactions, relationships between populations and the formal justice system in this specific context, and the long-term effects of this renegotiation.
Ten out of the eleven chapters focus on Belgian issues, covering the two world wars in equal measure. Belgium's diverse war experiences in the twentieth century mean that a study of the country provides fascinating insights into the impact of war on the dynamics of 'doing justice'. The Belgian army fought in both world wars, and the vast majority of the population experienced military occupation. The latter led to various forms of collaboration with the enemy, which required the newly reinstalled Belgian government to implement large-scale judicial processes to repress these 'antipatriotic' behaviours, in order to restore both its authority and legitimacy and to re-establish social peace.
Mélanie Bost holds a Ph.D. in contemporary history. She dedicated her thesis (Universit . é catholique de Louvain, 2013) to the role and attitude of the Belgian judiciary during the First World War. She is an associated researcher at the CegeSoma and the Royal Military Academy (Brussels). Her research focuses on the exercise of justice during the two world wars, daily life in occupied Belgium in 1914-1918 and military intelligence.
Antoon Vrints is associate professor at the Department of History (Research Unit Social History after 1750) of Ghent University. He is specialized in the history of conflict regulation and the social history of the First World War. Vrints recently co-authored a monograph on the Belgian veterans of the First World War.
Introduction.- Juvenile Delinquency, War and the Food Crisis: A Judicial Response to Delinquent Subsistence Strategies (Belgium, 1914-1918).- Judges, Lawyers, 'Vultures' and 'Butchers': Actors and Stakes of the Rental Crisis in Occupied Brussels, 1914-1918.- 'I swear I am a true patriot!' Rhetorical Defence Strategies of Suspects during the Prosecution of Denunciation to the Enemy in Belgium in the Wake of the First World War.- Prosecuting Food Profiteers after the Armistice: A Transitional-Justice Wake of the First World War.- Prosecuting Food Profiteers after the Armistice: A Transitional-Justice Perspective, 1919-1923.- In the Jails of the Fatherland: The Penitentiary Repression of Disloyal Civilians after the First World War in Belgium.- Policing Occupied Countries: Gendarmes and Populations Facing Security Needs (1940-1944, Hainaut/Nord-Pas-de-Calais).- Maintaining Order in Occupied Belgium? The Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office and Wartime Political Violence 1940-1950.- 'Ich habe noch nie sterben gesehen, wie man in Belgien stirbt'. Military Chaplain Otto Gramann and the Execution of Hostages and Convicts in German-Occupied Belgium and Northern France (1940-1944).- Foreigners, Penal Justice and Eigensinn in Berlin during the Second World War.- Belgian Judicial Actors and the Establishment of the Punishment of Collaboration with the Enemy in the East Cantons.- After the Big Show: British Police Officers and Civil Affairs in Europe.