Recent Book: Legal Aid: Legal Aid — The First 25 Years

Publication Date01 April 1976
Date01 April 1976
DOI10.1177/0032258X7604900223
SubjectRecent Book
forgot to visit the defendant who, in
all good faith, took the matter no
further. He was prosecuted for failing
to report an accident on the basis of
a passage on p. 346 of Wilkinson,
which suggests that "telephoning a
police station or police constable
seems insufficient compliance with
s. 25(2)"
(Road
Traffic Act 1972).
The magistrates were very nearly
persuaded to accept the learned
author's argument, which it is sub-
mitted, is neither just, logical nor in
any way supported by authority.
With that proviso in mind, it
has to be said that this is a compre-
hensive work of extremely high
standard which is to the magistrates
court advocate as
"Archbold"
is to
Crown Court practitioners. How
naked one would feel without them!
PORTIA
LEGAL AID
SETON
POLLOCK:
Legal
Aid
-The First 25 Years. Oyez Publishing. (£4.50).
Seton Pollock in his introduction to
this
book
states his aim in writing it to
be to provide apersonal account of the
development of legal aid. He states
that the book does
not
pretend to be
atextbook on legal aid
nor
a com-
prehensive history of legal aid. Be
that as it may Mr. Pollock in this
volume provides areadable and in-
formative account of the development
of
civil legal aid as seen through the
eyes
of
an insider. Mr. Pollock has
a deep personal commitment to the
ideal of legal aid which shines through
in his account of its history and
makings.
The
book
deals with three aspects of
legal aid in chronological form: the
historical background; the develop-
ments since the inception of legal
aid;
and the assessment of the present
position. In the final chapter Mr.
Pollock deals with some controversial
issues which have already arisen or
which may arise in the future.
In many ways Mr. Pollock is too
modest in his description of his aims,
for this book goes some way to being
atextbook and to providing ahistory
of legal aid.
It
should be noted how-
ever that the
book
makes no attempt
to tackle the subject of criminal legal
aid and that consequently its useful-
ness to the police officer in a profes-
sional context is limited. T.S.
SOCIAL
CONTROL
C.
KEN
WATKINS.
Social Control (Longmans). £1.95.
JOHN
BARRON
MAYS.
Crime and its Treatment, 2nd Edition (Longmans), £1.75
RICHARD
V.
ERICSON.
Criminal Reactions: the labelling perspective (Saxon House).
£5.75
RICHARD
V.
ERICSON.
Young Offenders and Their Sociai Work (Saxon House).
£6.95.
It
was not a sociologist who defined learn little from it.
Nor
will he get
an idea as the shortest distance be- much assistance if he turns to Pro-
tween two quotations, but some of my fessor Mays, for his
book
is a similar
younger colleagues invoke the names students' guide informed by a gentle
of famous sociologists with an en- but optimistic air of benevolent
thusiasm that must dismay their concern. He aims to understand the
readers. Mr. Watkins'
book
leans too manifestation of criminal and delin-
far towards this sort of selfconscious quent behaviour but ignores the
salesmanship. He does not discuss how victim and the cost of crime. To look
social control operates, and what forward to the time when
"it
may
makes it high or low, so much as use become more acceptable, and be
the idea of social control as a starting considered no more damaging to be
point for an introduction to sociology. regarded as delinquency-prone than
Yet because the
book
is not a possibly it is at the present time to have a
controversial step towards abetter below average
I.Q.
or a tendency to
sociology but a picture of the present
asthma"
betrays acomplacency I
state of the subject, warts and all, would not have expected.
the student reading for an examina- British criminology got a tremen-
tion may find it all the more helpful. dous shaking in the late 1960s when
The reader who wonders
about
the a new generation of academics who had
increase in vandalism, personal vio- been trained in sociology came on
lence, divorce, female alcoholism, stage and assailed the perspectives
classroom disorder, and so forth, will deriving from law, medicine, social
140
April
1976

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