Criminal Law: The Basics

Criminal Law: The Basics

Criminal Law: The Basics

Criminal Law: The Basics


Criminal Law: The Basics is an insightful introduction to the legal aspects of criminal acts, ranging from battery to burglary and harassment to homicide. Starting with an in-depth exploration of the very concept of crime, this book considers such questions as:

  • how should we decide what is criminal and what isn't?
  • what is the difference between murder and manslaughter?
  • could you ever be guilty of stealing your own property?
  • what defences are available to those accused of crime?

The book features numerous case studies from the infamous to the bizarre and key questions for consideration throughout. Each chapter ends with lists of relevant cases, statutes and suggestions for further reading, making this an ideal starting point for anyone interested in criminal law.


This book has been written for those seeking an introduction to the basics of criminal law. It would be ideal if you are about to start a course in criminal law or if you just have a general interest in the subject. It does not at all purport to tell you everything you need to know about criminal law for a law degree, but hopefully it will pique your interest in the subject and introduce you to some of the main themes. I have sought not just to give you some information about what the law is, but also to give you an insight into some of the theoretical debates behind the criminal law. Remember, criminal law does not have to be the way it is: it could look very different. Throughout this book you should be asking yourself why the law is the way it is and whether it could be improved.

At the end of each chapter there is a list of further reading that you can use if you wish to read more about the particular topics. There is also a list of some of the key cases which you can read further in the law reports.


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