Criminal Law – 5th Edition

Nicola Monaghan

£31.99, OUP Oxford


This textbook forms part of the Directions series, aimed at students at all levels. Well written and easy to navigate, the text equips any student with an excellent knowledge of criminal law.

It undoubtedly delivers law in a straightforward manner, explaining complex legal concepts in a focused and clear way.

Each chapter is packed with useful illustrations, interspersed with clear and attention-grabbing case law summaries, ‘thinking points’ and ‘further reading’ suggestions; giving the reader an essential context to walk around the highlighted learning objectives.

Overarching concepts are dealt with in the early chapters, with helpful cross-references included in the offence-specific chapters that follow. For example, at the requirement that the prosecution prove causation of death as an element of murder is cross-referenced to the concept of causation dealt with at 2.5. This signposting will help any reader pull together and apply the core principles of criminal law.

Chapter 16 on Accessorial Liability is particularly good in setting out the law in the light of R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8, and its historic development.

At the close of each chapter the author sets out a helpful summary of the key concepts covered, followed by a ‘bigger picture’ section referring students to examples of where the academic law they have just learnt is debated in real life (for example, Law Commission reports and in the explanatory notes to statutes). Thus students are encouraged to appreciate that the law is not fixed but open to reform through case law and parliamentary debate.

An invaluable resource for students in this textbook is the inclusion of both self-test and exam-style questions, model answers to which can be accessed online. Also found online are multiple choice questions and flashcards for revision purposes.

Monaghan’s Criminal Law is a real one-stop shop for any student of criminal law.


Michael Goodwin QC is a criminal barrister practising from Red Lion Chambers, specialising in serious crime, business crime and fraud