The book has grown over the years to 3,001 pages (with indexes). It also now comes with a supplement, containing the Criminal Procedure Rules (though not the Committee’s notes to them) and the guidelines of the Sentencing Guidelines Council. This is an excellent idea, and it is no doubt designed to raise the profiles of both.

The work covers the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court, and appeals/judicial review. It includes primary and secondary legislation, together with Codes of Practice, Practice Directions and the Attorney-General’s guidelines, in addition, of course, to commentary. More materials, such as the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines, will be found on the CD version.

The text is arranged with exceptional practicality, with generous use of headings, sub headings and the avoidance of footnotes. As far as I have discovered, cases receive only one citation, with preference given to specialist series, such as the Criminal Appeal Reports.

The work states the law as at 1 August 2009, but includes a very good section on youth rehabilitation orders, which only came into force on November 20. In any case, cumulative papers, the online service and the practice bulletins enable the reader to keep fully up to date.
The work scores most heavily over its rivals by including both main criminal jurisdictions (and some civil applications, such as closure, orders) with liberal interlacing of practical material, such as CPS practice and guidance. It was a remarkable feat to include all this whist retaining excellent accessibility. The original founding editor would be very proud indeed of the way his project has been re-born and taken forward.

Adrian Turner LLB, barrister. A longer version of this review was published in (2010) 174 JPN. 45.