Criminal Law Books
Criminal law is an area which, academically, has strong philosophical elements to it as well as the obvious practical issues.
These textbooks range from a basic understanding of the key components of criminal law, all the way through to an advanced understanding & analysis. So we’ll start with the books which teach you about the basics and go from there.
Criminal Law – Nutshells
The Nutshells range can be very useful as part of your whole learning process. Don’t depend on it alone though! That’s a recipe for failure.
This book presents the essential elements of criminal law in an easy to understand way.
There are diagrams and check lists, exam tips and model answers. It’s a good idea to buy this early and perhaps read it before university. Although you may not understand everything, it will prepare you well.
Criminal Law – Law Express
The Law Express books are similar to the Nutshell books. This one is fully up to date and has received very good reviews on Amazon.
The book goes through the key cases, statutes and legal terms you need for your exam. It gives advice on maximising marks during exams and preventing common mistakes. Purchase of the book also gives you access to the Law Express online resources.
It’s great if you’re not sure how to go about answering problem questions.
Criminal Law – Text, Cases & Materials
This textbook offers incredible depth and analysis into criminal law which is needed when answering problem and essay questions to a high standard.
It’s got a good structure to do this too. The first part explains the law, and the second part explains the theory and philosophical elements.
You get access to an online resource centre when you purchase this book.
Criminal Law – Elliott & Quinn
Discusses criticism and academic thought on current criminal law as well as teaching the actual practical legal areas.
Features key cases boxes, topical issues boxes, diagrams, and detailed answer guidance for examinations.
Covers all recent developments in criminal law.
Smith & Hogan’s Criminal Law
This book has excellent ratings on Amazon and has been regarded as one of the leading textbooks in criminal law for over 45 years.
The book manages to be easy to understand yet still offer in depth analysis. Perfect for both students and practitioners.
There are online case updates so you can make sure you don’t miss any recent developments.
2012 – 2013 Criminal Law Statutes (Blackstone)
This statute book is essential as (depending on institution) you may be able to use it during your criminal law exam. It’s also a convenient resource while studying which can save you time.
It lists all the most recent and relevant statutes in an easy to find way. Irrelevant portions of legislation are omitted.
Listed in chronological order.
While it’s important to have an up to date textbook sometimes it’s not always too bad if it’s a few years out of date. From your lectures you should be made aware of the recent legal developments anyway.
You can actually save money if you get a textbooks which is a year or two out of date. The portions about criticism, and philosophical criminal law elements especially won’t go out of date too quickly.
Remember – no one resource should fully make up your revision & learning. Lectures, seminars, Nutshell books, textbooks, legislation and cases should all be combined.