"INTERNET LAW BOOK REVIEWS", Provided by Rob Jerrard LLB LLM (London)

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Internet Law and Regulation

Edition: Fourth

Author: Graham JH Smith, Partner Bird & Bird

ISBN: 9780421909908

Publishers: Thomson Sweet & Maxwell

Price: £195.00

Publication Date: 2007


Review

This is the fourth edition of this well-presented book on a subject, which despite its ups and downs continues to grow and dominate much of our lives.  Since the publication of the first edition in 1996, it is an indication of the growth of the Internet when you learn that this book is now 50% longer. 

The purpose of the book is to draw together the most relevant law and legislation of England and Wales stated as at December 1st 2006 and to analyse how it applies to activities carried on by means of the Internet. 

We are told that the seeds of this book were sown during a series of seminars given by some of the original contributors in 1995.  Some of these contributors remain, however in his Preface, the author attempts as far as possible to attribute the authorship of each chapter.  Nine others have assisted him with this edition. 

Since your Reviewer himself owns and runs two websites, he welcomes this book.  As the owner of a number of domain names my attention was drawn to the very comprehensive Chapter 3, which covers trade marks and domain names.  I must admit one often wonders how secure your domain names are. 

It seems, not surprisingly, that copyright has seen a rise in judicial activity, albeit mostly outside the UK.  Cases are covered from; inter alia, US (Grokster) and Australia (Cooper & Sharman).  The very important Communications Act 2003 covered in Chapter 8, along with the equally important European Electronics Regime.

 The Communications Act 2003 introduced some significant changes to the Regulation of communications and broadcasting in the UK, mostly through the implementation of the EU Electronic Communications Directives of 2002 and the introduction of a new converged regulator, the Office of Communications (OFCOM). The focus of communications reg­ulation is now on electronic communications networks and electronic communications services instead of "telecommunications systems" as under the old regime.

The book does provide a technical glossary but you will have to look elsewhere for copies of actual statutes should you need them. 

Not surprisingly the author tells us that: -

"Notwithstanding the industry of these lawmakers, many of the problems that lawyers have grappled with since the early days remain unanswered or poorly analysed. Foremost amongst these is cross-border liability, a field in which there is precious little consensus about what policy goals the legal rules should embody, let alone how the law should be crafted to achieve them. These issues are discussed in Chapters 6 and 12."

Obviously the most vital issue to be solved is ‘enforcement and cross border liability’, where they can be pursued and under which country’s laws.

In conclusion, Internet law is a vast and growing subject.  This book has grown to 1,296 pages and one wonders whether in ten year’s time it will have grown into two volumes with its own carry-case.  If you work with the Internet and your budget permits, this would be an excellent purchase.  For updates see the dedicated website.

Rob Jerrard



Archbold Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice 2008

Edition: 4th 2008

Authors: Editor Barbara Barnes

ISBN: 978 1847032454

Publishers: Sweet & Maxwell

Price: £185

Publication Date: 10/09/2007


Publisher’s Title Information


Precisely what you need in the Magistrates' Court

Designed exclusively for the magistrates’ court, Archbold Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice brings all the authority, trust and reassurance of the Archbold name into the magistrates' court.
With a coveted author team comprising barristers, judges, solicitors and clerks this book gives you the law and procedure from the people who know best.
Everything you need to work in the magistrates’ court is presented in an order that follows the progress of a case - including the complex procedures for the youth court and the recent, extensive legislative changes.

Make the best use of your valuable time

Covers all criminal matters dealt with in the magistrates’ court, including the youth court

Follows a chronological order, so that you can find the information you need quickly

Uses a clear style and straightforward approach, so that every aspect is clearly explained

Includes full citation of authorities from statute and case law which can be cited in court

Provides practical guidance on substantive law, showing what the prosecution must prove, defences and sentencing for each offence

Gives you the law and procedures from those who really understand how it works

Features procedural checklists to help ensure everything is done correctly, with nothing overlooked

Includes a supplement in Spring, as part of the service, to keep you up to date with future developments


Contents

PRE-TRIAL ISSUES
Criminal Investigations
Constitution and Jurisdiction
Extradition
Commencement of Proceedings
Bail
Disclosure
Pre-trial procedure: live links
SUMMARY TRIAL
Summary Trial
Witnesses
Evidence
Challenging Decisions
SPECIFIC OFFENCES
General Principles
Offences of Violence
Sexual Offences
Property Offences
Public Order Offences
Road Traffic Offences
Offences involving Drugs
Customs and Excise Offences
Regulatory Offences
Corruption and other Offences against Public Morals and Policy
SENTENCING
General principles of sentencing
Specific sentences
Exclusion, Alteration and Enforcement
YOUTH COURTS
Jurisdictional Issues
Bail in the Youth Court
Sentencing in the Youth Court
MENTALLY DISORDERED OFFENDERS
Mentally disordered offenders
LEGAL AID AND COSTS
Legal representation
Costs
APPENDICES
The Pace Codes
Code of Practice on Disclosure
Attorney-General’s Guidelines on Disclosure
Attorney-General’s Guidelines on Acceptance of pleas
Code for Crown Prosecutors
Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction
Most relevant sections of the new CPR rules


Review

I feel confident that the Editor is correct in saying that now with the fourth edition Archbold Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice is becoming recognised as a helpful and authoritative guide for practitioners in the Magistrates’ Court and for others (and I include myself) who need comprehensive coverage of the law and statutes combined into one book. 

In July 2004 in the Preface to the first edition the then general editor (Nicky Padfield) wrote:-

'...This book represents the birth of a new work which we hope will prove hugely useful to those who work in the magistrates' courts...Practitioners will be well aware that the pressure has been on the authors of Archbold to limit the size (and weight) of their authoritative work. They have not been able to focus on summary trial issues. The publishers have long envisaged a companion book which would complemen Archbold by providing the legal support needed by practitioners in the magistrates' court...We hope that readers will let us know what they think. In that first Preface reference was also made to whether it was a good time to launch a new book, because 2004 was a time of great change.'

In that respect it never is, the law is a constant changing field, criminal law particularly. The Common Law of England continues to grow, as does statute law with the addition of new legislation covering the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004; the Animal Welfare Act 2006; the Fraud Act 2006; the Identity Cards Act 2006; the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006; the Road Safety Act 2006; and the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.

In addition recently issued Sentencing Guidelines on Domestic Violence and Reduction for Guilty Pleas are covered. Relevant case law has been updated in all chapters but in particular in respect of bad character evidence in Chapter 10. The appendices have all been clarified and updated.

 I feel confident that the list will be as long next year.

We find that there is reference in this edition to the 12-month custodial sentence and the allocation procedure both introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. They are yet to be implemented but unlike the custody plus provisions it appears that the intention remains to extend sentencing powers in the magistrates' courts and to amend the mode of trial procedure. The Editor correctly points out that one of the difficulties of producing a guide of this type is the sometimes disjointed and sporadic nature of legislative change where statutory provisions are enacted but not implemented and new statutes amend several existing ones. This presents a challenge, not only in deciding what to include or omit but also in ensuring all relevant amendments are addressed.

This is probably why the Editor refers to this as 'a work in progress'.  It must be difficult if not impossible to reflect the fast and frequent development.  However the editors welcome comments.  The book is produced annually with a supplement half way through at six months.  Although the book has grown in size by 624 pages since 2004, it is still portable enough to be carried into court.

Rob Jerrard



Wilkinson's Road Traffic Referencer

Edition: 1st

Authors: Katharine Marshall, Peter Wallis

ISBN: 9781847031150

Publishers: Sweet & Maxwell

Publisher’s Title Information


Wilkinson's Road Traffic Referencer is a brand new work bringing you all the up-to-­date information on road traffic law, in a speedy, easy to use A-Z format. It provides an at-a-glance summary of the principles and procedure of road traffic offences, enabling you to find the information you need quickly.

The work deals with 46 road traffic topics so every aspect is covered, and the A-Z format enables easy navigation so that you will always be able to find the information you want in the shortest possible time. It also includes a summary of each offence, enabling you to see the law which applies to the case you are working on. In addition, the Referencer covers many aspects of procedure and practice which will prove invaluable in the courtroom.

For each of the most common offences the Referencer sets out;

The basic definition and key elements of the offence, with reference to the case law

The mode of trial

Sentencing information and guidance

All the information you could possibly need is readily available in Wilkinson's Road Traffic Referencer, all clearly laid out.


The Preface

This new publication is aimed to be a simple, user-friendly and portable guide to the law, practice and procedure relating to road traffic offences.  Although most road traffic offences are of a relatively minor nature, the relevant statutory provisions and the procedural steps from summons to sentence can be complex. What is most often needed is a handy "referencer" enabling those needing it, to find the relevant information and quickly.  The Referencer is not intended to be a substitute for its more detailed parent publication, Wilkinson's Road Traffic Offences, but offers a complementary, handy summary of the major topics. Cross-references are provided to the relevant chapters of Wilkinson's, and where a detailed consideration of the law is required, readers are advised to consult the full reference work.

The Referencer uses a loose A-Z format in outline and the Contents page lists the topics covered. Related topics have been kept together, to avoid the need to look in several different places at once.  For example, all types of disqualification are dealt with together, whether obligatory, discretionary, or penalty points. All the information relevant to dealing with offences of being unfit or over the prescribed limit is consolidated in a number of consecutive topics following a general outline of the offences.  It is not possible to deal with every aspect of road traffic law in a publication of this nature, and the offences covered are those most commonly coming before a magistrates' court; the Referencer also deals with the procedures required where matters are subsequently to be dealt with in the Crown Court.  Offences under the Theft Act, construction and use offences, and offences that do not carry obligatory endorsement, are not considered as separate topics, but relevant information in relation to these offences, such as the maximum penalties and indicated guideline fines, can be found in the Appendices.

The law is intended to be up to date as at May 1, 2007.  At this time, much of the Road Safety Act 2006 remains to be implemented, and that situation is unlikely to change before the end of the year. However, the Referencer identifies the new offences which it is understood may be brought into force in Spring 2008, before a revised edition of the Referencer is likely to be published.  There is still uncertainty as to whether remaining sections of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, particularly those that affect powers of sentence in the magistrates' court, will be implemented. At the time of writing, the maximum period of imprison­ment that can be imposed for a single offence remains at six months.  In addition, there are potential changes to the procedure for commencing proceed­ings in the magistrates' court and for the allocation of either-way offences, but as there is no identified likely commencement for these provisions, only the current procedures have been covered in this edition of the Referencer.

The case law continues to update and inform the courts' approach, par­ticularly with regard to disclosure and offences of excess alcohol.  It is not possible to cover every case on the topic, but the cases cited provide a general overview of the guidance from the higher courts and full references are quoted so that the source material can be found quickly.

The Referencer also gives practical guidance and alerts users to matters which it will assist them to know when dealing with cases before the magistrates' court.  Most courts will be using the Magistrates' Courts Sentencing Guidelines.  An advocate who understands how these are applied and addresses the magistrates on the matters to be taken into account in a structured approach similar to the one they will follow when considering sentence, will be welcomed.  On the other hand, an advocate who arrives at court without appreciating the procedural and evidential requirements in order to present a case of "special reasons" may not impress his client, let alone the Bench!



As this is a new publication, the authors would be grateful to receive comments on the usefulness of the content and any areas which have not been covered that should be included in future editions.  It is hoped that if there are any errors, they are few, and that you will find this book an invaluable aid.


The Authors

Katharine Marshall MA (Cantab) has been a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) since 2002 and is a member of Family Procedure Rule Committee. Before that, she was a Deputy Justices Clerk working in the Magistrates' Courts Service for over 12 years. She has recently been made a Recorder.

Peter Wallis, Consultant Editor is a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) and a Recorder of the Crown Court. He is the General Editor of Wilkinson's Road Traffic Offences.



Sentencing Referencer

Edition: 2007

Author: David A Thomas QC

ISBN: 0421962200
Publishers: Sweet & Maxwell

Price £42.50 RRP UK

Publication Date: 2007

Publisher’s Title Information


This handy paperback provides all a practitioner's sentencing needs in one compact book.  Its clear layout and practical approach mean that the practitioner preparing a plea in mitigation, or advising on appeal, can quickly locate the key points of legislation affecting the sentencing powers of the courts.

Covering over 100 different sentencing topics, the Sentencing Referencer 2007 provides quick access to authoritative sentencing guidance. The work is set out in a practical A-Z format, making it easy to navigate, and ideal for finding answers quickly.

Fully revised and expanded to include additional commentary and guidance, this new edition:

Covers the major changes in sentencing law resulting The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and The Fraud Act 2006

Incorporates all other recent legislation, such as the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 where it is still in force and the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Expert authorship

Dr David Thomas QC has specialised in the law of sentencing for many years. He is the Editor of Current Sentencing Practice, General Editor of Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing), Cases Editor for Criminal Law Review, and Consultant Sentencing Editor for Archbold.


From the Author’s Preface to the 2005/06 Edition

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 contains about 160 sections, and about 30 Schedules, which are primarily or exclusively concerned with sentencing. It contains a range of mandatory provisions, which will cause major problems in practice and are likely to result, if they are properly applied, in sentences of unprecedented absurdity.  The Act, as is usual, is being brought into force in stages, and it is impossible to identify the text of the Act without reference to various commencement, transitional and transi­tory provisions set out in an increasing number of statutory instruments.  Despite the decision of the House of Lords in R. v Secretary of State on the application of Uttley [2004] UKHL 38 , which greatly simplified the requirements of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (which prohibits retrospective increases in sentence) almost all of the new legislation has been brought into force so as to apply only to offences committed on or after the commencement date, April 4, 2005. 

(The facts of Uttley were that over a period prior to 1983, the claimant committed a number of sexual offences, including three rapes. The maximum sentence for rape in 1983 was life imprisonment. The claimant was not prosecuted for the offences until 1995 when he was sentenced to a total of 12 years’ imprisonment.  Under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, the claimant was released after serving two-thirds of his sentence, but the release was on licence, the terms of which remained in force until he reached the three-quarters point of his sentence.  Those terms placed him under supervision and imposed certain restrictions on his freedom.  While subject to the conditions of the licence, the claimant was at risk, if he failed to comply with them, of recall to serve the balance of his sentence.  If he had been sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment under the release regime applicable in 1983, the claimant would, subject to good behaviour, have been released at the same point of his sentence, but the release would have been unconditional and his sentence would then have expired.  Before his release, the claimant brought proceedings for judicial review against the defendant Secretary of State, seeking a declaration that the provisions of the 1991 Act which made his release subject to licence were incompatible with art 7(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (as set out in Sch 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998). Article 7(1) prohibited the imposition of a heavier penalty than the one that was ‘applicable’ at the time that the offence was committed.  The judge dismissed the proceedings, but his decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal which held that the changes to the release regime effected by the 1991 Act meant that the 12-year sentence imposed on the claimant was a heavier penalty than a 12-year sentence imposed under the regime applicable in 1983.  On the Secretary of State’s appeal to the House of Lords, their Lordships focused their attention on an issue that had not been central to the argument in the proceedings below, namely the meaning of ‘applicable’ in art 7(1).

Held, The word ‘applicable’ in art 7(1) of the convention referred to penalties which the law authorised the court to impose at the time that the offence was committed, and thus art 7(1) would only be infringed if a sentence was imposed on a defendant which constituted a heavier penalty than that which could have been imposed on the defendant under the law in force at the time that he committed the offence, ie it would only be infringed if the sentence was heavier than the maximum sentence that could have been imposed at the time that the offence was committed.  It followed in the instant case that the ‘applicable’ penalty for the purposes of art 7(1) was the maximum sentence that could have been imposed for rape at the time that the claimant committed the rapes, ie life imprisonment.  The sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment, with release on licence after serving eight years, imposed on the claimant under the 1991 Act, was manifestly less severe than the sentence of life imprisonment which could have been imposed on him under the regime applicable in 1983.  Accordingly, there had been no infringement of art 7(1), and the appeal would therefore be allowed.  Decision of the Court of Appeal [2003] 4 All ER 891 reversed.)

The result is that during the transitional period, which may last a decade or more, there will be two systems of sentencing operating simultaneously, often in the same case, and two parole systems.  Statutory provisions which were a high priority a few years ago-such as the abolition of detention in a young offender institution and its replacement by imprisonment-have been enacted but not brought into effect.  The 2003 Act has been drafted on the assumption that that particular provision would have been brought into force; as it has not, numerous temporary modifications have been made the 2003 Act to ensure that it applies to sentences of detention in a young offender institution as much as to imprisonment.  Unfortunately, this task has not been carried out thoroughly, and some sections have been overlooked.  One is the newly inserted section 51A of the Firearms Act 1968; at the time of writing this section placed a mandatory obligation on a court to impose a sentence of five years' imprisonment on an 18-year-old convicted of possessing a prohibited weapon, even though that is not a lawful sentence.

Changes in the law relating to community sentences have been equally confusing.  The new global community sentence-essentially the old com­munity orders under new names-apply only to offenders over 18 (not 16 as the statute says) convicted of offences committed on or after April 4, 2005.  A court dealing with an offender for two offences, one committed before and one after that date, by means of what used to be called a probation order, must take care to impose a community rehabilitation order for one offence and a community order with a supervision require­ment for the later offence. Although they are exactly the same thing in practice, if they are imposed for the wrong offences both orders will be unlawful.

Of course the Criminal Justice Act 2003 is not the end of the story.  The progress of sentencing legislation continues unabated.  The Drugs Act 2005

(not yet in force) provides that a court must treat a drug trafficking offence as aggravated if it is committed in the vicinity of a school during school hours or one hour before or after.  The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, also not yet in force, creates a financial reporting order.  The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 breaks new ground in allowing a court to impose a sentence in the form of a restraining order on a person who has been acquitted of the offence with which he was charged.

The object of this new version of the Sentencing Referencer is to assist sentencers and practitioners of all kinds to find a way through this maze.  It attempts to state the law, as simply as possible, as it was on April 4, 2005. Legislation which was not in force on that date, or which was in force only in certain areas, has been omitted although some such provisions which may be expected to come into force during the lifetime of this edition are included. Sentencing Referencer is intended to provide a simple guide to the law.  It does not purport to deal with problems of statutory interpretation.  Cross references are provided, where possible, to the relevant parts of Current Sentencing Practice and Archbold (2005 edition).

D.A. Thomas April 2005


The Author’s Preface to the 2007 Edition

Less than two years after the implementation of some of the sentencing provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the legislation is showing signs of strain. Intermittent custody, after a trial run, has been abandoned; the implementation of custody plus, together with increased sentencing powers for magistrates' courts and the convoluted procedures for determining mode of trial and committal for sentence set out in Sch.3 of the Act, has been postponed, apparently indefinitely. The new dangerous offender provisions are proving as difficult as was predicted; despite the efforts of the Court of Appeal to restrict the scope of the legislation, large numbers of offenders who would not previously have been considered candidates for special treatment as dangerous offenders are being sentenced to life imprisonment in the form of imprisonment for public protection (the same thing under a different name.)  Meanwhile, the "all or nothing" nature of the new legislation, under which a man convicted of a "serious offence" (one punishable with a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment or more) can be sentenced to imprisonment for public protection but not to an extended sentence, means that many less serious but persistent offenders who would previously have qualified for an old-style extended sentence can now be dealt with only by means of a commensurate sentence. In this respect, the new law offers less protection for the public than the old. Changes in the law relating to the revocation of parole licences, brought about by means of a paragraph hidden in the transitional provisions schedule of a commence­ment order, seem destined to require the attention of the House of Lords.  A new set of problems caused by the wholly unnecessary  s.265 of the 2003 Act are beginning to manifest themselves.

Undeterred, the Government presses forward with more legislation on sentencing. The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 has reached the statute book but is not yet in force. It contains seven new mandatory minimum sentences, one provided by s.28, which creates a new offence of using another person to look after, hide or transport a weapon. This new offence has what must be the most complicated sentencing provision of any offence on the statute book (three maximum sentences, two required minimum sentences, and one statutory aggravating factor). A new prohibitive order ­a drink banning order-is added to the list of similar orders. This order will enable courts to impose any prohibition on an offender which is necessary for the purpose of preventing criminal or disorderly conduct by the offender while he is under the influence of alcohol. It will be of limited use in the case of offenders who are just as likely to offend when sober. By contrast with maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment for breach of existing orders such as asbos and sopos, the penalty for breach of a "drinbo" is a fine at level four on the standard scale.

Undoubtedly the most remarkable development of all is the new Criminal Justice Bill. Announced in the Queen's speech at the opening of the current session of Parliament, there can be no doubt that the Bill is on the way, but at the time of writing the Government has done no more than drop the vaguest of hints of what the Bill may contain. This is a bizarre way to legislate. There was a time, not much more than a decade ago, when important criminal justice legislation would be preceded at least by a White Paper setting out Government policy, and possibly by the report of an influential body of politically independent persons-an Interdepartmen­tal Committee, perhaps even a Royal Commission. The new Bill seems destined to follow what has become the pattern-a series of ill-digested and ill-thought out ideas rushed through Parliament at breakneck speed to fulfil a political agenda; the only consolation is that there is a good chance that having been put on the statute book with great excitement they will remain unimplemented and join the large junk heap of similar legislation enacted in recent years but never brought into force.

As with previous editions, the purpose of this edition of the Sentencing Referencer is to provide as simple as possible a guide to the law governing the sentencing powers of the courts. It does not purport to deal with every problem that can arise, or to resolve problems of statutory interpretation.  References are provided, wherever possible, to the relevant parts of Current Sentencing Practice and to Archbold (2007 edition).  This edition attempts to state the law as at January 1, 2007, but provisions which were not in force on that date, but which may come into force within the lifetime of this edition, are included.

D A Thomas January 15, 2007


Review

This is an attempt by Dr Thomas to state the law on sentencing as simply as possible as at 1st January 2007.  This is very welcome, particularly in view of his comments in the Preface to the last Edition about the current state of the subject brought about by recent statutes, viz the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the Drugs Act 2005, the Serious Organised Crime & Police Act 2005 and the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, all of which will have an impact on sentencing (when in force), which of course they were not at the time. The Government have pressed forward with more Legislation.. 

If you add to legislation already in existence, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 and the Criminal Justice & Court Services Act 2000, the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, the Road Safety Act 2006 and the Fraud Act 2006 it will make you realise how valuable a small book of this nature must be to sentencers and practitioners, as Dr Thomas says, 'it will help them find a way through the maze'. 

Police officers have a wider power of arrest than ever before,it is still vitally important that they keep up to date and know their powers.  Their training manuals are updated annually but if in doubt they can certainly cross-check with such a volume as this.

To see how complicated sentencing is take criminal damage. 


CRIMINAL DAMAGE ACT 1971

Section 1(1(criminal damage)::10 years

Note: if a magistrates' court has determined that the value of the damage does not exceeds £5,000 and the matter comes before the Crown Court under Criminal Justice Act 1988, ss 40 or 41, or P.C.C.(S.)A., 2000 s.6, the maximum sentence is three months.

Section 1(2)(criminal damage with intent to endanger life)::Life

Section 1(3) (arson)::Life

Section 2 (threatening to damage property)::10 years

Section 3 (possession with intent)::10 years

Penalty provision: s. 4

Note: arson and criminal damage endangering life (s.1(2))

Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, s.91 applies.


Until the new powers of arrest came into force it was vital to know what sentence an offence carried in order to know whether a power of arrest existed. 

With the advent of the new Serious Organised Crime & Police Act 2005 this has changed to needing to know what an indictable offence is. Prior to PACE it was even more complicated for Police Officers who on occasions were forced to revert to a Breach of the Peace to make an arrest.  Knowing whether it is an indictable offence will matter to a member of the public because mistakes can lead to civil actions for unlawful arrest - being correct can avoid that and for that reason this book is recommended.

Rob Jerrard



The Law of Evidence

Edition: Third Edition

Author: Ian Dennis

ISBN: 9780421888500

Publishers: Sweet & Maxwell

Price: £30.95

Publication Date: June 2007

Publisher’s Title Information


Written by one of the leading academics in the field, The Law of Evidence:

Offers an integrated approach to evidence which includes essential doctrinal analysis

Goes beyond other textbooks to explain the intricacies of the law of evidence while still remaining easy to understand

Takes account of evidence theory, psychological research on information processing and retrieval, socio-legal work on police investigations, and jury research projects

Contains detailed footnotes, providing key references for further reading

Examines the recasting of the regime for obtaining identification evidence in the PACE Code of Practice

Covers the many changes bought about by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which has recast the law on hearsay and character evidence and changed laws on disclosure and the examination of witnesses.

The Law of Evidence is an ideal textbook for undergraduate students and those studying evidence at postgraduate level; and those on vocational courses such as the LPC and BVC will find it an invaluable source of reference.


Reviews to Date

"I have just finished reading this book ... and have found it extremely helpful. It really does explain the intricacies of trials and procedures that exceed our basic knowledge from the first year. Surprisingly easy to understand, which is a huge relief!" Amazon.co.uk  - student review

"Dennis's treatise... is a work of scholarship, detail and integrity. This is a comprehensive and insightful treatise upon an area of law which is simultaneously both of immense practical importance, and deep, sometimes frustrating, philosophical foundation. It is a serious contribution to evidence scholarship. " International Journal of Evidence and Proof

The third edition of this successful textbook provides thorough analysis of the law of evidence, while placing the subject within its theoretical context. The information is presented in a logical structure following on from the introduction of the basic concepts through to the exclusionary rules of the law of evidence.



Archbold: Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice 2007

Edition: 2007

Author: General Editor: Nicola Padfield

ISBN: 0421963107 / 9780421963108

Publishers: Sweet & Maxwell

Price £180

Publication Date: 18/09/2006

Publisher’s Title Information


Archbold Is No Longer Just designed exclusively for the magistrates' court, Archbold Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice brings all the authority, trust and reassurance of the Archbold name into the magistrates' court.

With a coveted author team comprising barristers, judges, solicitors and clerks this book gives you the law and procedure from the people who know best.

Everything you need to work in the magistrates' court is presented in an order that follows the progress of a case - including the complex procedures for the youth court and the recent, extensive legislative changes.

PRECISELY WHAT YOU NEED IN THE MAGISTRATES' COURTS

Covers all criminal matters dealt with in the magistrates' court, including the youth court

Follows a chronological order, so that you can find the information you need quickly

Uses a clear style and straightforward approach, so that every aspect is clearly explained

Includes full citation of authorities from statute and case law which can be cited in court

Provides practical guidance on substantive law, showing what the prosecution must prove, defences and sentencing for each offence

Gives you the law and procedures from those who really understand how it works

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RECENT CHANGES

Keeps you up to speed with the latest developments, including the new codes of practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Covers the latest legislative developments, including changes to procedure, evidence and sentencing under the Criminal Justice Act 2003

Offers expert guidance on sentencing, including up-to-date tariffs together with guidance on aggravating and mitigating circumstances

THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN COURT COVERS THE PROCEDURES

FOR THE SPECIALIST AREAS

Features specialist coverage of youth court, with guidance on proceedings and the regime for vulnerable witnesses

Sets out how to deal with mentally disordered offenders, showing what special arrangements apply

EXACTLY THE TOOLS YOU NEED

Contains procedural checklists to ensure quick reference and easy access to key information

Includes core statutory material, Codes, Rules and Practice Directions for ease of reference

Provides flowcharts and diagrams to clarify complex areas such as dealing with young offenders

JUST THE WAY YOU NEED IT

Ensures portability with a one-volume format, ideal for court use

Keeps you up to date with a supplementation service, enabling you to stay informed of ongoing developments

Anyone working in the magistrates' courts will know how extensive all the recent legislative changes have been. The new 2007 edition of Archbold Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice provides authoritative and highly comprehensive coverage of all the changes, including guidance on interpretation and application in practice.

DON'T MISS EACH ANNUAL EDITION AND SUPPLEMENT

Archbold Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice is published annually, with the updating supplement sent out each spring.

With specialist authors on areas such as sentencing and youth court,, you can be sure you're receiving guidance from - the experts. Throughout the book their practical experience focuses on showing how to put the law into practice whilst dealing with issues that may arise.


Review

As a leading guide to criminal pleading, evidence, and practice in the United Kingdom’s Magistrates’ Courts, this book begins with five good chapters, and then falls short of reality.

It does not take a genius to understand that common sense urges that a book such as this should be the "bible" of the myriads of Criminal Law Practitioners, ( 10,381 solicitors as per the Law Society figures as at 31st August 2005) and as such,  should have as priority and in depth, the subjects that are most before Magistrates’ Courts, rather than an academic exercise. One only needs to examine the statistics.

What are the offences that usually come to a Magistrate’s court? What are the offences at issue today, the subjects that need depth of explanation?

Some constructive criticism about this book

Chapter 6, on Disclosure consists of only 14 pages.

Why include Chapter 12, explaining actus reus and mens rea?

This is a practitioner’s reference book. Surely, they do not need schooling.

Chapter 13- offences of violence -is only 60 pages long.

Chapter 18- offences involving drugs is only 53 pages long.

Chapter 22- principles of sentencing should be the most important chapter and it has delivered the goods. Sentencing in the Youth Court took up 134 pages of explanations.

Chapter 30 on costs is hardly a chapter, yet this is a hot current subject.(Public Defender Costs are 71% to 93% higher than private firms for police station attendance cases and between 41% and 56% higher for Magistrates’ Courts work, according to a  recent report by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies ).

There is no chapter on the vital subject of human rights as it affects the Magistrates' courts, although Human Rights Act 1998, sections 3, 6 and 21 were briefly mentioned.

The  UK criminal justice system deals with offences from bulk crime, such as non-payment of a TV licence; antisocial behaviour; high-volume serious crime, like robbery or burglary and complex crime, such as murder, terrorism or fraud.  To ensure that the innocent go free and the guilty are convicted is at the crux of the justice system and as such, the Human Rights Act 1998  is a statute to protect civil liberties.

What this book states in paragraph 14-69, in one sentence only, is that the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights is such as to require that the increase in penalty (for the possession of indecent photography of a child- which this section deals with) should apply only to offences committed on or after the commencement date of the Act.  It did not explain that the first occasions that the House of Lords was required to consider the retrospective application of the Human Rights  Act 1998, were in July 2001 in Lambert [2001] UKHL 37, [2001] 3 All ER 577, HL  and later in November 2001 in Kansal (No.2) [2001] UKHL 62, [2001] 3 WLR 1562, HL nor that Section 22(4) of the Human Rights Act 1998 was interpreted in Lambert as providing that a person cannot rely, in a post-Act appeal, on his or her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in respect of a conviction which arose before the Act was introduced.

Section 6 Human Rights Act 1998 is discussed only in paragraph 3-62 of the book, a paragraph dealing with 'convictions in absence', in respect of extradition, not an everyday matter in these lower courts... This paragraph 3-62 states that the judge "decides in the affirmative that he must decide whether the extraditions would be compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998, section 21. If the extradition is not compatible then the person must be discharged." This section mentions four cases that were heard in Strasbourg. However, the book misses a most important case

Robinson v Sutton Coalfield Magistrates’ Court [2006] EWCH 307 (Admin).

Paragraph 5-96 is the only other place in the book where the Human Rights Act 1998 is mentioned.- the right to a fair trial. Paragraph 5-96 begins to argue that Article 6 European Convention on Human Rights, does not have direct relevance as regards section 7(5) of the Bail Act 1976, relying on R v Wirral Borough Magistrates’ Court, ex parte McKeowan [2001] 2 Cr App R.2 DC and R v Havering Magistrate’s Court, ex parte DPP.

Now to my main criticism- Criminal Justice Act 2003 deserved a Chapter

Bad character needs to be discussed at length and in respect of such cases as Ainscough [2006] EWCA Crim 694;  Bovell [2005] 2 Cr App R(S) 27 ;  Highton [2005] EWCA Crim 1985;  Humphries [2005] EWCA Crim 2030; . Malone [2006] EWCA Crim 1860.;Purcell [2006] EWCA 1264;  Shields [2006] EWCA Crim 1532.; Smith [2006] EWCA 1355 and  Tedstone [2006] EWCA Crim 1530.

Discussion of Littlechild [2006] EWCA Crim 2126, regarding not reasoning a case from the law which applied before the Criminal Justice Act 2003, is important. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 deals with magistrates’ courts in sections 15, 16, 17, 18, 29, 30, 31, 42, 51, 52, 53, 88, 96, 110, 111, 127, 154, 155, 162, 164, 165, 167, 170, 174, 183, 191, 192, 210, 219, 282, 300, 301, 302, 305, 308, 320, 323, Schedule 2, parts 1,2,3,4,5,6; Schedule 10, parts 2,3,4; Schedule 23, Schedule 25; Schedule 31, part 1; Schedule 34, parts 2,4,7,9,10,12; and Schedule 38.

Conclusion

In 1988, legal writer Goodrich gave the following description of the legal system situation in England at that time. He said "...those who come before the system of justice are rarely if ever successful in their pleas. The conviction rates in 1978 were 84 per cent of English Crown Court cases, 93 per cent of indictable offences, and 95 per cent of non-indictable offences cases in the Magistrates’ courts. It is the bureaucracy in the form of the police, administrative agencies, and large corporate enterprises that are overwhelmingly the victors in the adversarial process of trial. In criminal cases, for example, the majority of defendants are unrepresented and statistically the vast bulk of them plead guilty as charged… The defendant’s day in court is seldom a voluble one; their hearing is brief and their processing swift."

Where are we now?

Sally Ramage


Below is a review by a Solicitor who had been using the book in court in 2005. It should of course be borne in mind that since this Review there have been two New Editions. R v Ramsden [1991] Crim LR 295, CA. does appear in this Edition.


REVIEW of 1st Edition 2005

The Holy Grail of reference books, so far as the busy Magistrates Courts practitioner is concerned, is a one stop solution that succinctly and accurately collates, in one place, those essential nuggets of information that routinely (and not so routinely) arise in the course of a busy court session.

Building on its reputation as the Crown Court reference book of choice, Archbold is descending into the lower courts arena where it attempts to fill the gap between Stones Justice Manual (too unwieldy, and not, to my mind, particularly user friendly) and Anthony & Berryman’s (a good ready reckoner for the newly qualified, but lacking depth).  Now 2005 edition.

Of course, that gap is already filled to an extent by a selection of tomes no doubt resident in the criminal practitioner’s library - not least in the shape of Blackstone’s, and Archbold senior.

It is certainly a neat book - 1167 pages, and slightly smaller dimensionally than either of the bigger books. It is also laid out in a logical way - starting with"Pre Trial Issues" and ending with"Costs" - with sections on procedure, specific offences, evidence, sentencing and various other matters sandwiched in between.

I have been taking it along to court for a number of months, now, and feel I have given it a good test drive.  So what do I think? Well, it looks the part and handles nicely, but pushed to the limits it is less than composed, and can, when you least expect it, let you down badly.

For example, the public identification of youths on the making of ASBO’s was a pretty hot topic just before this book was published - but was the guidance there that dealt with this hot potato?  No.  In a trial in which identification was an issue, did it contain the case-law on the better quality evidence that may be given by a police officer R v Ramsden [1991] Crim LR 295, CA.  No. Worse, the manner in which s.4 of the Public Order Act 1986 is set out is downright misleading.  OK, not massive errors, or (perhaps) significant omissions but unsettling nonetheless.

What do I like? Well, apart from its size and portability, the specific offences sections are neatly laid out - with the relevant statutory provision clearly set out, mode of trial guidelines (where applicable) immediately apparent, a summary of points to prove, and the Magistrates Association sentencing guideline also immediately obvious.  There are also one or two nuggets of information that I have found interesting and of some value.

However, the proof of the pudding is (as they say) in the eating. Am I still partaking of this superficially tasty morsel? I’m afraid not.  I cannot see the point in paying £175 for a book that I feel I have to cross check against the more established competition - which does rather defeat the object of this book in the first place.  I would rather use Archbold Crown Court as my reference book on general matters, Blackstone for my daily diet in the Magistrates Court, and the specialist books on the more specific topics as appropriate.

It was never fair to expect the Holy Grail, but even lowering my sights somewhat, frankly, this book is too expensive for what is, I’m afraid, too much of a lightweight, shallow and (at least in part) unreliable book.

Mike Fanning


Anti-Social Behaviour and Disorder: Powers and Remedies

Edition: 2nd

Authors: Scott Collins & Rebecca Cattermole
ISBN: 9780421950009

Publishers: Sweet & Maxwell
Price £75

Publication Date: 13/10/2006

Publisher’s Title Information

Anti-Social Behaviour: Powers and Remedies is an exhaustive review of the powers and remedies available to public sector and private sector bodies in the area of anti-social behaviour. It uniquely sets out the powers and remedies of many different public/private bodies including housing, planning and environmental health authorities and the police.
Increasingly, local authorities have been given more general powers to deal with of anti- social behaviour in other areas.
Brings together in one source the powers and remedies of many different public/private bodies
Covers Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
Supplies an array of practical aids such as checklists, standard forms, reference grids and protocols to ensure nothing is overlooked
Deals with all the processes involved, from the conduct of investigations and evidence gathering to how to prosecute
Incorporates a wealth of developments since the previous edition, such as the Secure Tenancies (Notices) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2004 and procedural changes arising from the new CPR 65
Discusses important recent case law such as Manchester City Council v Romano, Samari
Easy to understand - accessible to non-qualified legal officers as well as solicitors, with case studies clarifying the text
Reproduces key relevant legislation so it can be consulted easily



LINKS

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