• Smith, Hogan and Ormerod’s Text, Cases and Materials on Criminal Law (12th edition)
  • David Ormerod and Karl Laird
  • £36.99, OUP

While this is an academic textbook rather than a practitioners’ guide, its depth of useful information should not be underestimated.

All of the essential elements of an undergraduate criminal law syllabus are covered, but the book goes well beyond simply covering the basics. There are a substantial number of direct quotations from the leading cases, relevant academic articles and Law Commission reports, as well as insightful commentary from the authors throughout. This is all set out in a well-presented format that is easy to understand. For the especially studious, or those writing essays or researching particular topics, there is also a helpful list of suggested further reading at the end of each chapter.

This edition has been updated to reflect recent legislation and cases. There is a substantial section dedicated to Jogee and the impact this has had on the interpretation of the law relating to joint enterprise. Some of the academic criticism against the judgment in Jogee is included – and the authors offer their thoughts on the future of the law relating to joint enterprise.

Due to the academic nature of the book, it is unlikely to replace the well-known and established practitioners’ handbooks as a first point of reference for those in practice.

However, it is an excellent choice for those wanting to obtain an overview of the essentials of criminal law and also the relevant academic arguments. I would highly recommend this excellent textbook to anyone studying criminal law or looking to increase their understanding of the area.

Bartholomew Dalton is a solicitor at TV Edwards LLP