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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Witchcraft during Wartime: the trial of Helen Duncan

Published in Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, (2011) Vol 175, No. 03, p 27. 

In earlier columns I have written about wartime cases to reflect on present-day problems. Such cases are often the most instructive, because it is during wartime that a legal system is under the greatest strain, and how it reacts to that strain says a great deal about the system. Previously I have considered cases where the law reached the right conclusion. This month, however, I am concerned with a case which should never have been brought at all: that of Helen Duncan, often (incorrectly) said to be the last person in Britain to be tried for witchcraft.

Continue reading at the above link.

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