The seventh edition of Criminal Laws maintains the distinctive features which have established the book as a leading Australian work for 30 years. The new edition features an expanded author team with expertise across criminal law, criminalisation theory, policing, criminology and crime policy. Criminal Laws has been completely updated to take account of important new legislation, case law and policy. It incorporates insights from the latest research on the impact of criminal laws and the associated practices of police, prosecutors, courts and prisons.
As one review put it, this text is simultaneously a “textbook, casebook, handbook and reference work”. As such it is ideal for criminal law and criminal justice courses as a teaching text, combining as it does primary sources with extensive critical commentary and a contextual perspective. It is likewise indispensable to practitioners for its detailed coverage of substantive law and its extensive references and inter-disciplinary approach make it a first point of call for researchers from all disciplines.
Highlights of the seventh edition include discussion and analysis of:
- new offences to address technology-facilitated gendered violence and harassment;
- changes to domestic violence prevention law and policy;
- recent developments in the interpretation and operation of sexual assault laws, including the Lazarus case;
- latest developments in homicide law, including the new offence of supply of drugs causing death;
- expanded and updated analysis of the offence of ‘habitually consorting’ and other developments in pre-emptive association-based criminalisation;
- major changes to sentencing law and practice, including the abolition of suspended sentences;
- controversies over police powers and practices including use of sniffer dogs, strip searches and mobile phone searches;
- important criminal law and sentencing decisions from the High Court of Australia and the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, while maintaining the book’s long-standing commitment to featuring judgments from the Local and District Courts;
- the findings and recommendations of recent Royal Commissions, law reform commission inquiries and other investigations;
- changes driven by technology and ‘efficiency’, including the growth of ‘on the spot’ fines as a method of criminal law enforcement, and increasing reliance on audio-visual links (AVL) in lieu of the defendant’s physical presence in the courtroom;
- up-to-date statistics on reported crime and criminal law enforcement practices, combined with narrative and other qualitative forms that illuminate the lived experience of crime victims, accused persons and offenders;
- developments in criminal law scholarship, including critiques of ‘algorithmic justice’, empirical research on criminalisation as a public policy mechanism and work that challenges the conventional understanding of fines as a benign form of punishment;
- the burgeoning market for true crime podcasts, including the implications for addressing miscarriages of justice.