Book review: Criminal Judicial Review

General editor: Pier Von berg
Publisher: Hart Publishing
ISBN: 9781849465373
Date: September 2014
Price: £65.00

The Criminal Judicial Review: a Practitioner’s Guide to Judicial Review in the Criminal Justice System and Related Areas, is a long overdue addition to the criminal practitioner’s library. The technical and practical aspects of this area of public law can be daunting to those who are not versed in it, and the process of appealing to the High Court is an area where the practitioner and the layman need clear and practical guidance.

This book brings together and restates the law that has been set out elsewhere in various cases, textbooks, guidelines and practice directions, in an intelligent, comprehensive and user friendly style. It will be of practical and academic assistance to those who work in this field and in particular to those who need hand-holding through the process.

Clarity of approach

The book’s strength is in the clarity of its approach and its structure. It provides guidance to the key principles, procedures, remedies, funding and costs. It deals in detail with applications against the police, the Prison Service, the CPS, magistrates’ court, coroners and the Crown Court.

These sections are particularly impressive. They are detailed without being stuffy and opaque. They provide clear and concise guidance to relevant case law and detail the wide variety of cases that have come before the courts. The section on the CPS is particularly apposite. This section deals with judicial review of decisions to prosecute and decisions not to prosecute. There is much food for thought for those who seek to use the law in novel and creative ways. Furthermore, it has an excellent section on the specialist areas of mental health, extradition and children and young persons, which will be of great interest and assistance to practitioners working in those areas.

I was recently asked to advise whether a decision taken by a public body could be judicially reviewed. This is not my area of practice. However, I was greatly assisted by this book, which guided me through the intellectual, practical and financial aspects of the application; the process would have been unquestionably much harder without it.

Criminal Judicial Review is likely to become a standard text and it is highly recommended.

Reviewer: Catherine Donnelly, 6, Pump Court

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