The years 1918-1925 were the most turbulent in recent Irish history, a time of momentous constitutional change and widespread political unrest. Faced with armed insurrection and revolutionary claims to democratic legitimacy, the British government responded with increasingly harsh emergency powers. These measures provided the model for the governments which emerged following the partition of the country into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland.
In this scholarly and compelling book Dr Colm Cambell offers a detailed legal analysis of emergency powers and assesses their impact upon the outcome of political conflicts. Drawing upon
extensive archival materials, the author examines the effect of emergency law on the battle for legitimacy in three jurisdictions: Ireland under British rule 1918-1921; the Irish Free State 1922-25; and Northern Ireland 1921-25. By identifying and discussing three core areas of emergency law in all three jurisdictions, such as special powers of arrest and detention, special courts and internment without trial, the author brings out the historical continuity in the
development of these powers. The role of the judiciary in co-operating with laws which helped to marginalize them is also discussed. Carefully researched and cogently argued, this book
will appeal not only to historians but also to constitutional lawyers, political scientists, and scholars interested in civil liberaties and the history of laws relating to political violence.
`This is a book that is both scholarly for the lawyer and historian and compelling for the general reader.'
Irish Independent Weekender
`His book, in which the more theorectical legal discussion is firmly underpinned by a wealth of statistical and other factual material, can be strongly recommended as a valuable addition to our understanding of this period and the continuing problems which confront the legal systems in both islands in dealing with terrorism.'
The Irish Times
`could hardly be better timed ... This book should be required reading for John Major, Sir Patrick Mayhew, and the delegates to the Dublin Forum for Peace and Reconciliation'
Bulletin of the Committee on the Administration of Justice
`It is a rewarding experience in the light of a depressing history in which the author teases out impressively the subtle gradations of, and ingenuity in, constructing regimes of legal repression. He has performed an ardous and delicate task in disentangling the complex and over-lapping network of courts and the legal provisions governing them.'
Law Quarterly Review
`It is a timely moment for the publication of Colm Campbell's thorough and detailed study of the use of emergency powers in the eight crucial years in Irish history which led to the partition of the island, after a period of war and civil war ... This is an impressive book, carefully researched and well written. It is very much a legal history, and therefore does not devote much time to discussing the wider impact of the emergency regime. None the less,
it is a work both lawyers and historians of Ireland will find to be of great value.'
Intelligence and National Security
`the most esoteric, treatingthe history of violent times through the special mechanisms of the rule of law applied to them in all British Ireland, the Free State, and six-county Northern Ireland. By the very nature of its methodical enterprise, it could hardly by anything but impressive. With its footnotes, elegant graphs, tables and appendices, it is itself a giant hostorical footnote, a monument to the devoted academic's industry.'
The Times Literary Supplement
`'Dr Campbell, in great detail and with an immensely impressive grasp of the relevant logistics, portrays the manner in which jurisdictions which sometimes were successive and at other times paralleled each other jockeyed for position within the narrow insular framework of Ireland...The book is rich in analytical quality and is quite probably the first readable treatment of the republican left.''
English Historical Review
`'a detailed, highly formal analysis of emergency powers that assesses their impact upon the outcome of political conflicts. Its great value is the use of archival resources to study the implementation of emergency law in three jurisdictions...For those who are interested in the modulation of legal forms under extreme stress, this book can be recognized without hesitation...Campbell has produced a study of value.''
`'masterly study...There can be little doubt that Dr Campbell's book, with its careful analysis of the political and military imperatives, will be a standard reference for its subject as well as a boon to researchers in this field...it is a work in which anyone remotely interested in human rights, both on a national and international scale, cannot fail to find valuable insights.''
Irish Historical Studies