A Practical Approach to Criminal Procedure

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OUP Oxford, Feb 24, 2011 - Law - 587 pages
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The A Practical Approach series is the perfect partner for practice work. Each title focuses on one field of the law and provides a comprehensive overview of the subject together with clear, practical advice and tips on issues likely to arise in practice. The books are also an excellent resource for those new to the law, where the expert overview and clear layout promotes clarity and ease of understanding.Now in its thirteenth edition, A Practical Approach to Criminal Procedure provides a complete guide to the criminal process in England and Wales. It explains what happens before the accused appears in court, the way in which prosecutions are commenced, funding by the criminal defence service, and bail. It describes proceedings in the magistrates' court, including summary trial and committal for sentence, as well as the way in which the youth court operates. Committal and transfer fortrial are clearly explained and the process by which serious offences are sent direct to the Crown Court is also studied. Trial on indictment is discussed in detail, as are sentencing and appeals.This new edition has been updated to incorporate recent developments in the field of sentencing, including youth rehabilitation orders and a number of new Sentencing Guidelines. It also covers amendments to the Criminal Procedure Rules , and the Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction, and new statutory and case law such as changes introduced by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. There is also increased coverage of "out of court disposals" such as cautions and fixed penalty notices,confiscation proceedings, and the changing rules in relation to funding defendants.Very much a practical guide, this title makes frequent use of examples, flowcharts, and tables, and is specifically designed to assist the busy professional and student. A Practical Approach to Criminal Procedure is an indispensable resource for those working in this field.

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A Practical Approach to Criminal Procedure
Thirteenth Edition
By John Sprack
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0-19-958600-4
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Rumpole of the Bailey was a fiction! Well, we all know that. But what the learned author of this valuable and scholarly book points out is that, however delightful he was as a character, ‘John Mortimer’s masterly creation’ is ‘for good or ill (a) stereotype… totally at odds with the truth.’
So, if you’re a criminal practitioner, you’re no doubt very much aware that good old Rumpole is no role model, at least, not nowadays. What you need instead is detailed knowledge of the law, including interpretative case law both to represent your clients effectively and of course to enhance your professional reputation, and that is what we have here.
John Sprack’s book, as its title indicates, is indeed a practical approach to criminal procedure and an important legal gem for the trainee barrister. Now in its 13th edition since the first appearance in 1981, it very usefully replaces the previous edition published in 2008 in ‘the shadow of the Criminal Justice Act.’
Certainly, in the last three years, a number of important developments have emerged. For example, Sprack cites the growing importance of the Sentencing Council following the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 with its provisions for anonymous and vulnerable witnesses. Then there are the youth rehabilitation orders as set out in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, brought into force toward the end of 2009. Also, there has been a new version of the Criminal Procedure Rules containing significant revisions ‘of crucial daily importance to practitioners’… and all well covered by OUP’s Blackstone Guides.
Over almost 600 pages, 30 chapters and 3 fascinating appendices, this eminently readable volume also provides an expanded section of Confiscation Orders, plus coverage of new case law relating to such issues as abuse of process, tainted acquittals and jury tampering, as well as witness anonymity.
There are copious tables of cases, statutes, statutory instruments and codes of practice -- plus, as you would expect, a useful and lengthy index at the back.
More than just useful, in fact essential, is the final chapter on ‘Your Practice’ which contains any amount of advice on further research, including practitioners’ works… law reports and journals…online sites and further professional training. One of the three appendices includes a sample brief on the type of case the typical practitioner is likely to encounter – amusing but deadly serious.
The law is stated as at 15 December 2010. In short, it remains a mine of valuable practical and procedural information and advice for the criminal practitioner and those just coming to the Bar.

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About the author (2011)

John Sprack practiced for a number of years as a barrister in the criminal courts. He taught Criminal Litigation at the Inns of Court School of Law (now City Law School) for 11 years, and was Director of its Bar Vocational Course and of the LLM in Criminal Litigation. He was one of the founding authors of Blackstone's Criminal Practice at its inception in 1991 and contributed to it for 17 years. He now provides Continuous Professional Development courses for practicing lawyers in Criminal Procedure; Sentencing and Evidence; Advocacy; and Employment Law.

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