Criminal Law in Ireland: Cases and Commentary 2nd Edition



A criminal law tome, now in its Second Edition, that every lawyer and law student needs on their desk!


Professor Liz Campbell,

Professor Shane Kilcommins,

Dr Catherine O’Sullivan

Dr Alan Cusack

ISBN: 9781911611400

Format: Paper Back

Pages: approx 1300 (including prelims and index)

Publishing: October 2020

Criminal Law: Cases and Commentary, Second Edition is a thoroughly revised, updated and expanded edition of this now established criminal law text book staple. This Second Edition includes new chapters on the following topics: Road Traffic Offences, Drugs Offences, Regulatory Offences and Victims’ Rights. Recent legislative changes are considered including the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017, as well as significant Supreme Court cases in the areas of the presumption of innocence (Forsey), reasonable access to a lawyer (Doyle), joint enterprise (Dekker), the right to silence (Sweeney), the exclusionary rule (JC) provocation (MacNamara), duress (Gleeson) and mistake (Casey).

As with the first edition Criminal Law: Cases and Commentary, Second Edition  is designed to help law students to understand the fundamental rules, principles and policy considerations that govern the criminal law in Ireland. It attempts to address a comprehensive range of issues including, the definition of a crime, its various classifications, the imposition of liability, the range of substantive criminal law offences, the procedural rules that shape the pre-trial and trial processes and the possible defences that may arise.

It provides students with a broad range of perspectives including formal case law, statutory and constitutional provisions, academic commentaries and Law Reform Commission policy recommendations. It combines domestic law with ECHR jurisprudence and persuasive authorities from other jurisdictions. Through a careful combination of the criminal rules along with excerpts from cases, articles, notes and texts, this book seeks to inform the user of the formal criminal law and provide a gateway to some of the more conceptual debates in the subject area.

Who should buy Criminal Law in Ireland: Cases and Commentary, Second Edition

The primary purpose of the book is to broaden the reading horizons of law students. It seeks not only to trace the lines of development of the various rules emanating from the courts and the legislature, but also to provide an entry point for broader discursive analysis of the workings of those rules, the ideological currents running through them and the policy implications for choosing one rule over another. This book is a must for all students of criminal law in Ireland, whether undergraduate, post-graduate or professional. This book is also widely used by legal practitioners.

About the Authors

Professor Liz Campbell is the inaugural Francine V McNiff Chair in Criminal Jurisprudence at Monash University, Melbourne. Her research focuses on how the law responds to profit-driven crime, both by legitimate corporate entities as well as networks of organised crime. Another strand of her research looks at the use of biometrics in investigation and prosecution, and she is a member of the UK Home Office Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2011, and her research has been funded by the Research Council UK, the Law Foundation of New Zealand, the Modern Law Review, and the Carnegie Trust. She publishes widely in the area of criminal law/justice in generalist and specialist journals, and is co-author of the fifth edition of The Criminal Process (with Professor Andrew Ashworth and Professor Mike Redmayne) (OUP, 2019).

Dr Catherine O’Sullivan, BCL, LL.M (NUI), is a lecturer in Law and Criminology at the University College Cork. Her main research interests lie in Criminal Law, Criminology, Gender and the Law, and Law and Popular Culture. In addition to this text, she co-authored Fundamentals of the Irish Legal System (2016). She has published articles in a variety of national and international publications including the Irish Jurist, the Dublin University Law Journal, the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Legal Studies, and Human Rights Quarterly.

Professor Shane Kilcommins is head of the School of Law at the University of Limerick. His areas of expertise are criminal law, evidence law, criminal procedure, penology and legal philosophy. He is a Fulbright scholar, has been appointed an expert with European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. He also acts as an examiner for the Law Society of Ireland in criminal law.

Dr Alan Cusack is a lecturer in law at the University of Limerick. Dr Cusack is a graduate of University College Cork (BCL, LL.M, PhD), University College Dublin (Dip. Emp) and the Law Society of Ireland (Solicitor, 2012). His research interests lie in the broad areas of criminal procedure, criminal law, victimology, criminology, the laws of evidence and disability studies. Dr Cusack has been widely published in national and international journals including, The International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, The International Journal of Evidence and Proof; the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly and the Irish Judicial Studies Journal and he has provided expert analysis on the treatment of vulnerable witnesses for national media outlets in Ireland including Newstalk FM and The Irish Examiner.

Contents include:

Part 1: Principles of Criminal Law

  • The Definition of a Crime
  • The Classification of Crime
  • Actus Reus
  • Mens Rea
  • The Inchoate Offence of Attempt
  • The Inchoate Offence of Conspiracy
  • Inchoate Offence of Incitement
  • Criminal Participation

Part 2: Criminal Procedure

  • The Presumption of Innocence
  • Arrest
  • The Right to Silence
  • Powers of Detention
  • The Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction
  • Bail

Part 3: Criminal Law Offences 

  • Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person
  • Sexual Offences
  • Homicide
  • Offences Against Property
  • Offences of a Public Nature Against the State
  • Offences Against the Administration of Justice
  • Road Traffic Offences
  • Drugs Offences
  • Regulatory Offences

Part 4: Defences

  • Defences – A Theoretical Guide
  • General Defences
  • Capacity Defences
  • Defences Specific to Murder

Part 5: Victims’ Rights

  • Victims’ Rights

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