Criminal Law: Text, Cases and Materials

Criminal Law: Text, Cases and Materials by Jonathan Herring
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 9th Edition (May 2020)
ISBN: 978-0-19884-847-9
Price: £39.99
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The 9th edition of Criminal Law Text, Cases and Materials is another extensively comprehensive learning resource from Oxford University Press. Like many others in OUP’s Text, Cases and Materials series, it includes substantial extracts from key cases, secondary legislation and academic debate. Cases are brought to life with detailed explanatory commentary, providing the learner with a complete and current picture of the law (at time of going to press).

The resource, which is much more than a reference book, is a thorough resource for both students and practitioners.  The wealth of online resources included are invaluable. Inside this treasure trove of online resources, readers will find amongst other things:Regular updates to the law following publication, key in this fast moving area of the law.

– A bank of interactive multiple choice questions helps to consolidate and validate knowledge.

– Flash cards of key cases.

– A full bibliography for the text.

– A video of the author taking about criminal law study and his approach to the subject.

– A selection of key annotated web links, guiding readers towards further useful sites.

– Guidance on answering questions posed in the text (questions that this applies to are highlighted in the text).

This text is particularly well structured and uses formatting well to draw the reader’s attention to key points of interest.  A table at the start clearly sets out the additions included in the 9th edition compared to the 8th edition including:

– Important developments in the law on self defence and rape.

– Developments in the law on causation.

– Clarifications on the law on loss of control.

– New case law on manslaughter.

– Analysis of the new law on dishonesty.

– 22 new cases.

The author takes a unique approach to the study of law and splits each chapter into two parts: (i) the current law as it stands (the ‘black letter’ law) and (ii) the theory behind the law.  The author clearly cross references these two parts throughout the text which allows the reader to quickly find the corresponding reference. The start of each chapter highlights the central topics which will be covered as well as definitions of key legal terms. Interspersed throughout the text there are relevant lists of further reading so readers can find relevant additional sources.  A useful ‘concluding thoughts’ section at the end of each chapter summarises the key points covered and serves as a quick summary for those flicking through. Rather helpfully (especially for students), each chapter includes test questions and examination tips such as flowcharts and guidelines on approaching specific questions or scenarios.

Given how comprehensive it is, I fully recommend Criminal Law, Text, Cases and Materials to anyone needing a clear and rounded account of this area of the law.  This tex has a wealth of clear, well set out and engaging information and pulls together a number of sources and formats to support lots of learning styles. It is easy to see why this is so highly recommended by lecturers across universities; Criminal Law, Text, Cases and Materials would be an asset to anyone interested in this topic.

Reviewed on 30 September 2020.

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