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Criminal Law & Criminal Justice

Criminal Law & Criminal Justice
An Introduction

  • Noel Cross - Liverpool John Moores University, UK

December 2009 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This accessible text enables criminology and criminal justice students to understand and critically evaluate the criminal law, in the context of criminal justice and wider social issues.

The book explains criminal law comprehensively, covering both general principles and specific types of criminal offence. It examines criminal law in its social context, as well as considering how it is used by the criminal justice processes and agencies which enforce it in practice.

The book covers all the different theoretical approaches that the student of criminology and criminal justice will need to understand. It provides learning tools such as:

  • Chapter objectives - making the structure of the book easy to follow for students
  • Questions for discussion and student exercises - helping students to think critically about the ideas and concepts in each chapter, and to undertake further independent and reflective study
  • 'Definition boxes' explaining key concepts - helping students who are not familiar with specialist criminal law terminology to understand what the key basic concepts in the criminal law really mean in practice

It is accompanied by a companion website which incorporates a range of resources for lecturers and students.

The book is written for undergraduate criminal justice and criminology students, and will also appeal to law students whose course takes a socio-legal approach.

Introduction: What Are Criminal Law and the Criminal Justice Process There for and How Are They Used?
Actus Reus
Mens Rea
General Defences in the Criminal Law
Alternative Forms of Criminal Liability: Strict Liability, Complicity and Inchoate Offences
Non-Fatal Assaults
Sexual Offences
Property Offences
Conclusions: Where Are Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Going and Where Should They Go from Here?

This book, original in conception and clearly written and structured, will do an excellent job of introducing students of criminology and criminal justice to the relationship between ‘law in the books’ and ‘law in action’. With a wealth of examples, it will help social science students to understand legal language and legal reasoning, and how criminal justice practice needs to be seen in the context of criminal law.
Professor David Smith
Lancaster University

Excellent book which assist students in completing a module assignment

Mr Simon John Rogers
Education, Hopwood Hall College
March 6, 2021

This book has been adopted as an esential text for both the Foundation Degree and BA(Hons) Degree in Criminal Justice

The content of the book merges Criminology,Criminal Law,The English Legal System and Criminal Justice in a way that clearly promotes a wider understanding of professional practice -Esential for students and lecturers as an excellent reference to promote focused delivery ,teaching and learning that in turn reflects professional practice

Mr John Rotherham
Criminal Justice , St Helens College
August 19, 2014

A good book that will complement the core texts.

Ms Allison Savory
Department of Social Sciences, Bucks New University
March 18, 2014

I've found this book very useful for my students on a Foundation Degree course, where Criminal Law and Criminal Justice are part of the programme. I particularly like the way the book is laid out with study exercises to embed the learning.

Mr Stuart Newberry
Public Services and Tourism, City College Plymouth
October 16, 2013

A well written book which discusses principles and types of criminal offences in detail. A must for academics and scholars.

Miss Frances Jackson
Public Services, Peterborough Regional College
October 25, 2011

There is a vast array of texts in this particular area, however Cross has presented this text in a highly accessible way and therefore is an excellent introductory text for new students of criminal justice. In particular, definitions and study questions are clearly laid out, thus providing succinct and quick to reference concepts and themes

Dr Paul Taylor
Social Studies and Counselling, Chester University
September 22, 2011

Cross has cleverly weaved his way through the rhetoric and parctice of the agencies involved with the criminal law and criminal justice. Engaging and accessible, highly recommended to all those studying either criminology or criminal justice.

Mr Stuart Agnew
Social Science , University Campus Suffolk Ltd
April 15, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

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This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.