Books by Jordan Publishing & Family Law 2007

·  E-Mail Rob Jerrard for the address to forward books you wish to have reviewed

Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice 2007

Edition: 2007

Format: Hardback and CD-ROM

Author: David Brewer

ISBN: 978 1 84661 068 4


Price £145

Publication Date: March 2007

Publisher’s Title Information

Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice 2007 provides in one volume a complete reference work for advocates and officials in the Magistrates' courts, combining unique procedural guides and annotated statutes covering the entire range of criminal procedure. The full text is included on an accompanying CD-ROM enabling you to access the work on your PC at the office or on your laptop at court.

Designed to combine authority with utility, Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice provides you with step-by-step advice on a vast array of court procedures together with an up-to-date source of statutes, SIs and practice directions. Unlike other comparable books all the statutes are presented alphabetically so finding what you need is quick and easy.
Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice has been fully updated for 2007 to include:

The Criminal Procedure Rules up to and including the third Update;

The latest version of the Magistrates’ Courts Sentencing Guidelines; and

New case-law such as the Chorley Justices case.

One of the greatest challenges facing advocates and legal advisers in magistrates’ courts during 2007 will be the implementation of the Simple, Speedy, Summary Justice Initiative. Courts will expect advocates to be ready to explain in detail the elements of the offence which are disputed at the first hearing at which a not guilty plea is entered. Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice enables advocates to undertake this task by setting out the elements of over 80 of the most common offences together with detailed annotations.
Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice 2007 includes:

Unique procedural guides

CD-ROM of full text included

Annotated statutes presented alphabetically

Over 80 offences analysed within

Easy-to-use tables


Part I: Procedural Guides
Part I divides the procedure of the court under 17 headings, ranging from commencement of proceedings to sentencing and enforcement. The law and practice under each heading is explained through commentary and over 100 procedural guides. Relevant forms are also included.
Part II: Elements of the Offence
An easy-to-use reference to the elements of the offence, including annotations for over 80 of the most common offences.
Part III: Statutes
All relevant statutes are reproduced, in amended form, and annotated by the expert team of editors.
Part IV: Statutory Instruments
All relevant SIs appear in amended form, annotated by the expert team of editors.
Part V: Practice Directions
Part VI: Codes of Practice and Guidelines

Previous Reviews

"a sound investment"
New Law Journal

"a thorough and well presented work covering all the substantial areas of criminal work ... very readable ... complemented by a CD-ROM. This format will no doubt prove invaluable to those already bringing laptops into the courtroom ... a useful tool for those practising in the increasingly complicated arena of the magistrates' court"
Solicitors Journal

"I cannot enthuse about it enough ... brilliantly laid out ... an excellent book"
Internet Law Book Reviews

Author information

General Editor:
David Brewer, Barrister, Clerk to the Justices, Wiltshire


Juan Batchelor, County Legal Information Officer, Wiltshire Magistrates’ Courts
John Hope, Barrister, Deputy Clerk to the Justices, Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court Service

James Prowse, District Judge, Oldham Magistrates’ Court
Tim Rose, Solicitor, Douglas & Partners, Bristol
Alessandro Roveri, Solicitor, Legal Team Manager, Devon & Cornwall Magistrates’ Courts Committee
Maggie Silver, Solicitor, Principal Legal Adviser, North & East Surrey Magistrates’ Court
Richard Ward, Solicitor, Professor of Public Law, De Montfort University
Nicholas Wattam, Solicitor, Senior Legal Adviser, Wiltshire Magistrates’ Courts Service


Reviewed On 18.08.2007 By Sally Ramage

The contributors to this 2007 edition are Juan Batchelor, John Hope, District Judge James Prowse, Tim Rose, Alessandro Roveri, Maggie Silver, Richard Ward and Nicholas Wattham.

This edition includes six parts:

Part I: Procedural Guides

Part II: Elements of Offences

Part III: Statutes

Part IV: Statutory Instruments

Part V: Practice Directions

Part VI: Codes of Practice and Guidelines

Section P in Part I is on the subject of Misbehaviour in a Magistrates Court and deals with removal of persons from the Court, Removal of the Defendant from Court, arrest and punishment for contempt in the Courtroom and outside the Courtroom, contempt by taking photographs or making sketches, contempt of court by the use of tape recorders and refusal by a witness to give evidence. This is a most important section in view of the advanced technology in mobile phones nowadays. Many years ago in the West Midlands, there was a newspaper report of a solicitor’s wife who took a photograph of her husband, as he defended a case in the Magistrates Court. Newly married and proud of her new husband, she missed being sent down by a whisker.

The book’s format facilitates electronic searches and a computer disk accompanies the Manual.

Part I takes the format of a three-field database of question, answer and legal citation. For example, in Part I, Section J9: Silence and Confessions, the first question is set out as follows:

Has the accused made any statement wholly or partly adverse to his case?

A confession is defined as any statement wholly or partly adverse to the maker. A wholly exculpatory statement is not a confession.

PACE 1984, s 82(3); R v Sat-Bhambra (1988) 88 Cr App R 55, CA;

R v Park (1993) 99 Cr App R 270, CA.Note (2); see also R v Hasan [2005] UKHL 22, [2005] 2 Cr App R 314

This is excellent, concise and searchable information on this topic and this section runs from page 7 to page 504 of the book. That there are 34 full pages of cases in the Table of Cases, tells of the depth of research that was involved in writing this book.

Part II, Elements of Offences, has been updated in this edition to include three new offences in the Fraud Act 2006, these being  Fraud by abuse of position, Fraud by failing to disclose information and  Possession of articles for use in Fraud  The fourth new offences included is Possession of False Identity Documents in the Identity Card Act 2006.  This Part II section also takes the format of three searchable fields of each element of an offence, explanation of the particular element and relevant citation. It also includes the element of defence of each offence, explanation and relevant citation. Such a layout is extremely concise, useful and efficient.

For example, the offence of 'no insurance', Road Traffic Act 1988, s143, has its defence set out as follows:


A defendant is not guilty if he proves on a balance of probabilities:

That the vehicle did not belong to him and was not in his possession under a contract of hiring or of loan.

That he was using the vehicle in the course of his employment and he had no reason to believe such a policy of insurance was not in force.


The offence does not apply to invalid carriages

RTA 1988, s 143













TRA 1988, s 143(4) and 185(1)

Part III: Statutes appears to include relevant statutes, carefully chosen. Most importantly, it includes the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the Magistrates Courts Act 1980.

Part IV includes six new Statutory Instruments, these being The Assistants to Justices’ Clerks Regulations 2006 and Criminal Defence Service (Financial Eligibility) Regulations 2006. Criminal Defence Service (Representation Orders and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2006, Criminal Defence Service (Representation Orders Appeals etc) Regulations 2006, Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 and Justices’ Clerks Rules 2005.

Practice Directions in Part V is up to date.

Part VI: Codes of Practice and Guidelines include Code of Practice in the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, Youth Court Sentencing, Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines and PACE Codes of Practice.

This is a most excellent and useful practitioners’ manual and I cannot fault it.

Sally Ramage

Review of the 2006 Edition



Sally Ramage

This book, as one of its category, uplifts the spirit. I cannot enthuse about it enough.

Firstly, the book cover is light-coloured and tactile, a similar good book cover I have not seen since Butterworth’s "Clark Hall and Morrison on Children". I noticed the very sensible feature of a soft but strong book spine, necessary for a large book regularly used. It features a useful touch of including three years calendar at the front.

Jordan’s Magistrates Courts Criminal Practice a good, well-designed manual. Its contents are laid out in an excellent manner in 7 parts:

Part I            Procedural Guides

Part ii            Elements of Offences

Part iii            Statutes

Part iv            Statutory Instruments

Part v            Practice Directions

Part vi Codes of Procedure and guidelines

Part vii            Non-prescribed Forms

The book consists of 2422 pages, the first 567 pages being the essential manual, the rest being cross-referenced materials. As to the many pages of statutes, I wonder why the method used by some publishers of including only the relevant parts of a statute, rather than the complete statute, is not used to make for a lighter book.

“Part ii. Elements of offences” is the essential star ingredient in the book.  To this effect, it may benefit from being comprehensive. The elements of offences are brilliantly laid out but only tackle 82 criminal offences before the Magistrates Courts, these being affray; aggravated vehicle taking; animal cruelty; assault; breach of requirement of a Community Order; breach of an Anti-Social behaviour order; burglary; common assault; criminal damage; disorderly behaviour; drugs misuse; drugs possession; drugs supply; drugs cultivation; drunk and disorderly; evasion of Duty; failure to surrender to bail; football related offences; going equipped for theft; handling stolen goods; harassment; sexual assault; indecent photographs of children; making off without payment; obstructing a police officer; possession of a bladed weapon; possession of an offensive weapon; racially or religiously aggravated assault; racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage; racially or religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour; racially or religiously aggravated harassment; racially or religiously aggravated threatening behaviour; racially or religiously aggravated wounding; school non-attendance; social security offences; taking a vehicle without consent; theft; threatening behaviour; vehicle interference; violent disorder; wounding; careless driving; dangerous driving; driving whilst disqualified; excess alcohol and driving; failure to stop; no insurance;; alcohol/drugs unfitness for driving; refusing evidential specimen; refusing roadside breath test; driver not supplying details; licence offences; driving without lights; not notifying DVLA of change of ownership; MOT  certificate not held; traffic direction offences; failing to comply with police signs; vehicle defects; vehicle loads; motorway offences; operators licences not held for goods vehicles; tachograph offences and speed limit offences.

It is obvious that this is an excellent manual for day- to- day use by criminal law practitioners.

It could become an all-encompassing reference book of its kind if there is included in the next edition, offences not included , some of which are as follows:-

Eg 1- obtaining personal information by deception. This is a criminal offence under section 55 Data Protection Act. This could carry a £5,000 maximum fine in the Magistrates Court.

Eg 2- Parenting Orders in respect of criminal conduct.  A parenting order is an order which requires the parent to comply, for a period not exceeding twelve months, with requirements in the order such as to attend counselling and guidance programmes. See Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, sections 19 to 22.

Eg 3- Immigration offences. See Immigration and Asylum Acts 1971, 1988, 1999. Where the offence is one to which an extended time limit for prosecution applies, an information relating to the offence may be tried by a Magistrates Court if it is laid within 6 months of the commission of the offence, or if it is laid within 3 years of the commission of the offence and not more than 2 months after the date certified by a police officer above the rank of chief superintendent to be the date on which evidence sufficient to justify proceedings came to the notice of the officer of the police force to which he belongs.(Immigration Act 1971,Part 111,sections 24-28 as amended).

Eg 4- Cruelty to animals offences- see Protection of Animals Act 1911,section 3 and Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954, section 1(2).

Eg 5-Offence of bird poaching. See Protection of Birds Act 1954, section 15(2).

Eg 6- The new fraud offence. See Fraud Act 2006.

Eg 6- Breaches of health and safety.

Eg, 7- Noise related regulatory offences.

Eg 8- Consumer credit offences and offences relating to advertising. An offence under the Consumer Credit Act is punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum and on conviction on indictment by a maximum of 2 years imprisonment or a fine or both. (Amended by the Magistrates Courts Act 1980 section 22(2)).

Jordan’s Magistrates Court Criminal Practice is an excellent book in concept and design. An improved and updated new edition is awaited.

Sally Ramage

For those who work or practice in Magistrates' Courts it is essential that they have access to a single book such as this which is updated annually, coming as it does with a CD ROM this is a good choice to make, having the CD ROM makes searching so much easier, all the statutes, Statutory Instruments and forms are there at your fingertips

Rob Jerrard


·         "Internet Law Book Reviews" Copyright Rob Jerrard 2008