Tworzenie i organizacja Królewsko-Polskiego sądownictwa wojskowego w latach 1917–1918


  • Julian M. Skelnik


Courts Martial, Kingdom of Poland (1916–1918)


The Kingdom of Poland was created by the proclamation (Act) on November 5, 1916. It was proclaimed by the German and Austro-Hungarian governors, who were occupying Polish territories at that time. The administration was held by the occupants, but the Provisional Council of State, as the highest political representation in the Kingdom, was also created. The Council was allowed to organize independent civil and martial courts. These courts started their activity on 1st September 1917. Before this date the Provisional Council of State created the Commission of Military Law, which was entitled to undertake all military steps to introduce German military law into Polish Armed Forces. Members of this Commission represented not only Polish institutions in the Kingdom but, like Wacław Makowski, they were also significant lawyers. The Commission ended its works on August 25th 1917, as a consequence of resignation of the Provisional Council of State. On August 29th 1917 Governor General Hans von Beseler announced his order on the organization of courts-martial and discipline in Polish Army. This document implemented German military law for all soldiers of Polish nationality, having German citizenship and serving in Polish Armed Forces (Polnische Wehrmacht). Soldiers, who had Austro- Hungarian citizenship were still under cognition of Austro-Hungarian courts martial. The highest superior officer for courts martial in the Kingdom of Poland was general Felix von Barth. He was also the commander of the Training Inspectorate, which was supposed to serve administrative support for courts martial. The order from August 1917 provided the creation of higher and lower courts martial. Finally there was created only one Court Martial of Training Inspectorate under command of major Bolesław Dunikowski. The Court was renamed after April 1918 into Court Martial of Polish Army, or Court Martial of 1st Brigade. Since that time colonel Henryk Minkiewicz, the commander of 1st Brigade, became the superior officer of this court. When Poland regained independence in November 1918, this court was reorganized into Court Martial of Military District Warsaw.



How to Cite

Skelnik, J. M. (2010). Tworzenie i organizacja Królewsko-Polskiego sądownictwa wojskowego w latach 1917–1918. Miscellanea Historico-Iuridica, 9, 53–66. Retrieved from