I am sometimes put off by books of law reports as they remind me too much of my college days. The busy practitioner wants something that is easy to use. This book, however, is very good as each case is well annotated. It is reasonably priced too, has a bold red cover, and sturdy binding.
The book is marketed as a useful reference for police, prosecutors, defenders and legal advisers, and in this third edition the already voluminous case law on these types of motoring offences is updated.
The first thing which is striking about the text is the ability to locate the salient points from each case. For instance, if considering the case of Smith (Stephen John Henry) v DPP, one is presented with a clear layout and structure of the circumstances of the case, the question for the court and the decision made, with a brief summary at the start of each case. I found this to be extremely useful when researching a specific area of, law such as the admissibility of a reading from a preliminary breathtest.
Author: P.M. Callow, third edition
Publisher: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill (£69)
Of particular merit in this analysis of the law is the almost exclusive use of judgments when relaying the decision that was made by the court. The judgments are relayed in part, but only the part essential to the dictum of the judge – useful when drafting a legal argument. I found the judgments easy to follow and the reasoning employed by the judge to be clearly reproduced.
Also of note is a short appendix at the rear of the text which contains the relevant legislation. Looking at this from a solely defence point of view, this can be especially handy when advising clients either at the office or at court and reference to the law is necessary.
I found the indexes easy to navigate with the information clearly laid out. For example, when attempting to find relevant case law on a breath analysis device working incorrectly due to lack of an operator, it was easy to find that specific information and the relevant case law.
In summary this book is extremely useful when defending or prosecuting cases involving drink or drug driving.
David Pickup is a partner and Simon Green an assistant solicitor at Pickup and Scott Solicitors