Criminal Defence: Good Practice In the Criminal Courts (4th edition)

Roger Ede, Anthony Edwards

£59.95, Law Society

Three years ago Anthony Edwards explained that he wrote books which will be valuable for him: ’Quite a lot of the time I’m pulling it off the shelf and having a look, because that’s why I wrote it.’ By that test (and any other), his work with Roger Ede on the 4th edition of Criminal Defence is a triumph.

The authors’ ambition is to assist the overworked criminal defence practitioner in maintaining high standards of work in often challenging circumstances. For those starting their career, the book should be considered as essential reading. For those more experience practitioners, the book will be a first point of reference.

Criminal Defence benefits from a clear and logical structure which follows the full progression of a criminal case. The text is a mixture of practical advice (for example, what instructions should be taken prior to an application for bail) and law. The effect is to provide the reader with the necessary detail while remaining accessible.

The decision of what to exclude can often be as important as the decision of what to include. Here, we find an appendix full of pragmatic and sensible decisions. There is no full-scale replication of the consistently evolving Criminal Procedure Rules. Instead, we find key extracts from the Law Society Practice Notes. The decision allows the book to age without reducing its quality.

This work should be a key text for all criminal defence firms.

Matthew Hardcastle is an associate at Kingsley Napley LLP in London.