Understanding Criminal Law
By CMV Clarkson
Review by Samantha (Law)
I had always heard that Law was one of the most boring subjects as you simply memorised and recited laws. However, Understanding Criminal Law by CMV Clarkson completely changed the way I thought about Law, suddenly all the concepts became really interesting and I knew it was what I wanted to study at university. The book can take you through the basic principles of criminal law, like causation, blameworthiness and enforcement. The book also gave interesting examples with legal cases you will struggle to believe actually happened, but which created important legal precedents. When preparing for an interview for Law it could be extremely useful to know some of the content in this book, such as actus reus and mens rea. Further reading will show your interest in the subject but also improve your analysis of any problem-type questions you may be asked.
You do not need to read the entire book to get something from it. For example, I focused on the chapter on corporate wrongdoing which gave me both sides of the argument for convicting businesses when a worker dies. I was able to use this information in both my personal statement and interview with confidence. Furthermore, my interest in corporate wrongdoing grew into a more general interest in laws which interact with businesses and I then based my extended project qualification on the subject of consumer law. Therefore, Understanding Criminal Law was helpful as the broad overview it gave allowed me to realise which specific areas of law I am most intrigued by.
This book was also useful to read before my course started so that the concepts of criminal law were fresh in my mind and I was not confused about things like the difference between case law and statute law. However, if you are not yet thinking about university, Understanding Criminal Law would still be a great book to read as it was written for people with no knowledge of law and so it is easy to read. The narrative flows well and is lively as thought-provoking circumstances are made up by the author to make points about certain concepts.
Understanding Criminal Law by CMV Clarkson
Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.