Military Justice Handbook
Havant, United Kingdom: Howgate Publishing Limited, 2021
Paperback 820pp RRP $193.91
Reviewer: Neville Taylor, July 2021
Paphiti has produced the second edition of a handbook that could, by some defence force members, be considered more as a ‘bible’. It has been written to be all-inclusive - from senior military leaders to those in the civil community - because it is totally devoid of both military and legal jargon.
The opening chapters deal with ranks, command structures and the responsibilities of military members at all levels in all the services. Not overlooked are civilian employees in military environments, both from their obligations whilst serving with the military and when and how military law applies to them.
Arrest, investigation, common service offences, administrative action by commanding officers and summary hearings are considered in great detail with virtually all possible nuances examined. The later chapters then list matters that would normally be outside commanding officers’ jurisdiction – legal aid, fitness to stand trial, Court Martial pre-hearing procedure, trials and sentencing, appeals, young offenders (those under 18 years of age), victims of and witnesses to crime, and Service Inquiries and Coronial Inquests. Included are five pages of Statutory References and fifteen Appendices. An extremely detailed Contents make navigation to any desired general aspect a very easy matter, while the extensive Index provides quick access to specific items.
It is very easy to understand why this Second Edition would have been eagerly anticipated by so many both inside and outside Britain’s military. While its scope covers all services within the British military system, its contents and guidelines can be applied and modified to one’s own military and civil jurisdictions. As a retired commanding officer who had to deal with numerous summary offences, it would have been a great asset to have had Paphiti’s Handbook on my bookshelf during that time.
The RUSI – Vic Library thanks the publisher for making this work available for review.