Review: Criminal Law

Publication Date01 January 1966
DOI10.1177/002201836603000110
SubjectReview
Review
CRIMINAL
LAW. By J. C. Smith, M.A., Ll.B., and Brian Hogan, Ll.B.
Butterworths.
70S.
net.
This
is a text-book on criminal law designed primarily for the law-
student.
The
learned authors in their preface recognise the value of the works
by Kenny, Cross and Jones and Glanville Williams
but
claim differences for
their treatment of the subject which make this book more valuable to the
student than the others. Procedure and Evidence are excluded from the book
which concentrates on substantive criminal law.
The
arrangement of the chapters is sensible. Starting with General
Principles-such
things as the elements of a crime, liability, and general
defences-the
book proceeds to deal with particular crimes in some detail.
Professor Smith and his colleague have written a clear and thoughtful
chapter dealing with actus
reus
and
mens
rea, and in the succeeding chapters
endeavour, wherever possible, to discuss the particular crime with special
reference to these two ingredients. Better grounding in basic principles for a
student would be hard to find. One notices a chapteron road traffic
offences-
a subject rarely encountered in a book on criminal law.
The
learned authors have adopted a device which this reader found
irritating-in
describing decided cases the defendant is invariably referred to
as
"D",
e.g.
"In
Stewart D himself
put
his finger on it when he said, etc.".
Surely, from the student's angle it is easier to remember a case if the
defendant is referred to by his name than by an initial which has nothing to
do with the case.
An interesting opening chapter on the aims of the criminal law includes
a section headed
"The
Reform of the Offender" and while mention is made of
corrective training, it is surprising that the authors did not find it necessary to
refer to probation, which is surely the greatest modern contribution to reform.
This
is definitely a book to recommend, not only to students,
but
to
police officers and all others concerned with the criminal law.
72

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