Page:Black's Law Dictionary (Second Edition).djvu/772

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MARTIAL LAW

(...)'arising out of the exigencies thereof, arbitrary in its character, and depending only on the will of the commander of an army, which is established and administered in a place or district of hostile territory held in belligerent possession, or, sometimes, in places occupied or pervaded by insurgents or mole, and which suspends all existing civil laws, as well as the civil authority and the ordinary administration of justice. See In re Ezeta (D.C.) 62 Fed. 972; Dlekelman v. U.S.. 11 Ct. Cl. 439; Coin. v. Shortall. 206 Pa. 165, 55 ALL 932, G.) L R. A. 193. S13 Ani Si. Rep. 7.7!); Grifiln v. Wilcox, 21 Ind 377. See, also, 'Military Law'

“Martial law, which is built upon no settled principles, but is entirely arbitrary in its decisions, is in truth and reality no law, but something indulged rather than allowed as a law. The neccessity of order and discipline in an army is the only thing which can give it countenance, and therefore it ought not to be permitted in time of peace, when the king's courts are open for all persons to receive justice according to the laws of the land." 1 Bi. Comm. 413.

Martial law is neither more nor less than the will of the general who commands the army. It overrides and suppresses all existing civil laws, civil officers, and civil authorities, by the arbitrary exercise of military power; arid every citizen or subject—in other words, the entire population of the country, within the confines of its power—is subjected to the mere will or caprice of the commander. He holds the lives, liberty, and property of all in the palm of his hand. Martial law is regulated by no known or established system or code of laws, as it is over and above all of them. The commander is the legislator, judge, and executioner. In re Egan, 5 Blatchf. 321, Fed. Cas. No. 4,303.

Martial law is not the same thing as military law. The latter applies only to persons connected with the military forces of the country or to affairs connected with the army or with war, but is permanent in its nature, specific in its rules, and a recognized part of the law of the land. The former applies, when in existence, to all persons alike who are within the territory covered, but is transient in its nature, existing only in time of war or insurrection, is not specific or always the same, as it depends

on the will and discretion of the military commander, and is no part of the law of the land.