Now in its third edition, Troy Anderson’s Commonwealth Criminal Law is the only text that seeks to provide both the student and practitioner with an overview of how Commonwealth criminal law intersects with State and Territory criminal law.
It details the general principles of criminal responsibility created under the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) and contains chapters dealing with the most commonly prosecuted offences. These include fraud against the Commonwealth, child exploitation, money laundering, drug importation, terrorism and corporate crime. Each of these chapters also sets out the relevant sentencing principles applicable to these offences.
The book includes an entire chapter dedicated to Commonwealth sentencing practices generally and a chapter on the Commonwealth’s extradition powers.
Commonwealth criminal law represents an expanding area of practice and this text has deliberately been designed to be useful for the busy practitioner, Magistrate or judge who needs a quick understanding of a concept, without being bogged down in history or superfluous commentary.
The third edition has undergone significant updating, particularly with respect to the Commonwealth’s new money laundering and child exploitation offences.
Chapter 1 An Overview of Commonwealth Criminal Law
Chapter 2 General Principles of Criminal Responsibility
Chapter 3 Offences Against the Commonwealth
Chapter 4 Offences under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
Chapter 5 Money Laundering and the Proceeds of Crime
Chapter 6 The Security of the Commonwealth
Chapter 7 Serious Drug and Precursor Offences
Chapter 8 Child Exploitation
Chapter 9 Sentencing, Imprisonment and Release
Chapter 10 Extradition
Reviews of previous editions
The text deals comprehensively with general principles of criminal responsibility set out in the Code detailing when and what “fault elements” are required.
Like the first edition, the text is readable, accessible through helpful headings and sub-headings, and well indexed. The writer has produced a book that will be of benefit to practitioners and students.
Cahal Fairfield, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, April 2019
[T]his second edition will certainly replicate the success of the first, published in 2014. It is equally accessible and readable and has been meticulously updated. …
[T]he book has become a must have for anyone needing to enhance their understanding of the ins and outs of Australian criminal law. A wide range of offences is covered, most falling under almost a dozen categories, from fraud and taxation offences to, for example, counter-terrorism, human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime and of course, many more. …
This logically organised legal text, with its wealth of references, will be of immense benefit to busy practitioners. It has been called ‘an essential addition to the library of any practitioner’ — in Australia, that is — and certainly should generate a great deal of interest elsewhere, particularly among international lawyers.
Phillip Taylor MBE, Richmond Green Chambers, August 2018
This is the second edition of a work which, in 2014, became a first point of reference for those researching Commonwealth offences. In this edition, the author builds on his works, including more detailed analysis of child exploitation by way of online pornography and abuse, and counter-terrorism (in the chapter now titled ‘Security of the Commonwealth’).
The key subject areas for Commonwealth offences are delineated in separate chapters – offences against the Commonwealth, offences under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), money laundering and proceeds of crime, the security of the commonwealth, serious drug and precursor offences, and child exploitation. The areas covered make full reference to the Criminal Code and include recent and relevant authorities.
In addition, the chapter on ‘Sentencing, Imprisonment and Release’ analyses the sentencing regime for offences committed under Commonwealth legislation. This chapter also provides an overview of the matters a sentencing court is required to consider as well as useful procedure and practical guidelines.
The book is succinctly written and would be a useful reference tool for practitioners and students. The author should be commended on his research and assistance to the profession in preparing this useful summary of the law.
Queensland Law Reporter – 14 September 2018 –  36 QLR
The Australian Federal criminal justice system is a complex meshing of various Federal statutes, the effects of the Australian Constitution, Federal and state investigative bodies, prosecutorial bodies and courts and state prisons. It is not always obvious what law regulates the elements of a criminal offence, its investigation, the right to silence or its abrogation, trial procedure, extradition and so on.
This new text successfully takes on the difficult task of drawing together this lacework of legal threads and presenting them in a studied and practical manner. The text adopts a structure that is accessible to experienced practitioners and strangers to the Commonwealth criminal law.
The author is a member of the NSW Bar who practises in the Commonwealth criminal field in both prosecution and defence roles. Equally, the text deals with its subject matter in a balanced and factual way.
Overall, the text will provide great assistance to lawyers practising in criminal law. It will also be an excellent resource for those encountering the Commonwealth criminal system for the first time as practitioners or students.
The author has embarked on an ambitious task in writing this text. He has succeeded in producing a text of high quality that I think is a valuable addition to any criminal law practice. Read full review…
Tony Di Francesco, Bar News, NSW Bar Association, Winter 2015
… one reaches the conclusion that Commonwealth Crime is a very broadly relevant area – and that even those of us who are not criminal lawyers would do well to either have a copy of this work in chambers or at least know that the work is available, if needed.
The foreword of the book states that it is “aimed unashamedly at practitioners and students.” It is also said to fill a genuine gap in the literature. It certainly does appear to do so to me. I heartily recommend it. Read full review…
Louise Floyd, Hearsay, July 2015, 73
There are frequent prosecutions in Victorian courts for offences arising under Commonwealth legislation. This excellent book, comprising some 242 pages, will be of assistance to practitioners involved in that process. … There is also an excellent index. … I found this book readable, accessible and informative.
Cahal Fairfield, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, May 2015
Being a barrister, the author has written this book specifically for fellow practitioners and students too, by presenting in a succinct and accessible manner, the type of information that practitioners need to know in order to advise clients and present matters in court. With its practical approach, the book will obviously be of particular interest to practitioners involved in cross-border and international criminal cases. Note that it also contains tables of cases and statutes – and an extensive and helpful index.
As investigations into criminal activity (especially corporate crime) are now conducted more often than not, across several countries, or indeed, worldwide, we feel that this book presents valuable insights and much enlightening comment and information for the benefit of international lawyers everywhere who specialise in criminal matters.
Phillip Taylor MBE, Richmond Green Chambers, April 2015
*Phillip Taylor MBE from Richmond Green Chambers, London UK, reviews the book on YouTube channel – Click here to watch…
Uploaded April 2015
Despite the increasing development of Commonwealth criminal law in recent decades, books on the subject are few. Commonwealth Criminal Law seeks to fill the need for practical, yet succinct, guidance on this wide ranging subject.
Each topic could easily form the basis of a separate book. However, the author’s ability to analyse succinctly the criminal liability framework (including the complex field of sentencing) for these offences is where the book shines.
… the book offers a solid overview of the major features of Commonwealth criminal law. With the continuing development of this area of law, this comprehensive book has the potential to become a useful point of reference for both practitioners and students.
Melissa Jones, Ethos, ACT Law Society, March 2015
The Federation Press continues to maintain its position as the pre-eminent Australian Legal Publisher by producing extremely high quality works across a broad range of areas.
The significant widening of the range of Commonwealth criminal offences in recent years along with the accompanying conferral of new statutory powers for the detection, investigation and enforcement of these offences has resulted in an ever-expanding maze of provisions about which little has been written in the way of guidance for practitioners. The author has responded to this demand in a way that is both practically relevant and succinct. The unique features attending Commonwealth criminal responsibility are revealed in a common-sense way, with separate chapters devoted to offences under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), money laundering and the proceeds of crime, taxation and social security fraud, counter-terrorism, serious drug offences and child exploitation. Along the way, sentencing considerations for each are considered with a concluding chapter devoted to the complex regime under Part 1 B of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) for the sentencing, imprisonment and release of offenders. This text may very well become the first point of reference for practitioners in this area of the law.
M J Burns QC, Queensland Law Reporter – November 2014 –  46 QLR