Those of you familiar with the previous versions of the Community Care Law and Local Authority Handbook will know that Butler does not restrict the scope of the book to any one area of community care law, but gives details of the law and practice across the spectrum of issues faced by practitioners.
As with previous editions, the book brings together the complex legal framework around supporting society’s most vulnerable. As Lord Justice Ernest Ryder states in the foreword: ‘For one work to attempt to describe the detail of the law and practice relating to disabled and vulnerable adults and children, mental health, community care, health and social care, capacity, accommodation and finance is a very significant endeavour.’
Despite covering such a diverse range of topics, the detail is not lost. Butler provides us with extracts from legislation, guidance and case law and then (with an insight into the implications) how these have been interpreted by courts and what they mean in practice. Importantly, this incorporates the major changes that have been brought into play with the introduction of the Care Act 2014, one of the most significant pieces of legislation in this area since the National Health Service Act in 1946.
In the preface, Butler refers to a quote from Samuel Johnson (pictured): ‘Knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.’ Butler says he hopes that his book ‘continues to fulfil the second function’. With a detailed index and table of contents, the book is easily accessible to even the busiest of practitioners and I have no doubt that the third edition will live up to expectations.
Author: Jonathan Butler
£75, Jordan Publishing
Within the foreword to the sixth edition of Local Authority Liability, Lord Toulson emphasises that this book is now established as one which practitioners dealing with local authority issues should have on their bookshelves. It is clear why it has gained such an excellent reputation.
The book provides a holistic package of the cases which have developed this area of the law. From coverage of the cases on the liability of local education authorities, through to claims in relation to the highways, it will quickly become apparent to the reader just how vast the nature of claims against local authorities can be. Alongside coverage of the case law, the book also includes how far the duties owed by the local authority have been affected by relevant statute such as the Human Rights Act 1998.
While they provide a comprehensive commentary on the law, it is not the authors’ intention to criticise and assess whether the case law is developing in an appropriate and logical direction. It would be interesting to ascertain their assessment of the law in any subsequent editions.
Nevertheless, through the useful headings, tables of statutes and cases, a practitioner can quickly grasp the essential issues and developing principles.
Authors: John Morrell, His Honour Judge Richard Foster
£95, Jordan Publishing
Mea Fyfe is a senior solicitor in Moore Blatch’s public law team