May 24, 2012

George V, Come Into the Court!

Robin Callender Smith, University of London, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law, has published The Missing Witness? George V, Competence and Compellability and the Criminal Libel Trial of Edward Frederick Mylius. Here is the abstract.

A criminal libel trial in 1911 set the monarch against one of his subjects. Edward Mylius repeated a rumour that accused King George V of marrying Queen Mary when – secretly – the King had already married someone else and had three children. The criminal charge, the process used to bring the issue to court, the advice to the King of the relevant Ministers (including Winston Churchill as Home Secretary) and the trial itself stretched the boundaries of fairness. The legacy of the trial created a lingering problem. Can the monarch ever be required to face the direct scrutiny of examination by being required to appear as a witness in his or her own court to support a personal complaint?
Download the paper from SSRN at the link. 

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