Critics’ Reviews

Reviews of previous edition:

This is the fourteenth edition of this text. It is a comprehensive overview of the law governing procedures for prosecuting offenders in Victoria for state and commonwealth offences. The text covers the gamut in a sequential fashion commencing with the initiation of prosecutions, to the procedures before and during summary and indictable hearings, including committals, to sentencing, re-hearings and appeals. It skilfully considers these procedures as they apply to both state and federal offences prosecuted in Victoria. As with previous editions, it is comprehensive, readable, accessible and well indexed. The statute law reflects the position immediately prior to parliament’s rise for the November 2014 election. The changes introduced by the Jury Directions Act 2013 are considered, particularly the role of the trial judge in summing up and giving directions to the jury. The powers of Victorian courts to regulate when courts may be open or closed to the public are considered in the context of the changes introduced by the Open Courts Act 2013. The absence of any requirement for law enforcement agencies to comply with key elements of six of the 10 Information Privacy Principles (see s15 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014) is perhaps one of the less obvious though equally important recent statutory changes. The case law takes account of judgments delivered up to 22 December 2014. Reference is made to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Strangio v Magistrates Court of Victoria & Anor [2013] VSC 496 in which the Supreme Court considered the availability of relief by way of judicial review in committal proceedings. Reference is made to the recent unanimous judgment of the five-member bench of the Court of Appeal in Boulton v The Queen [2014] VSCA 342. Boulton contains sentencing guidelines on the use of community correction orders. Reference is also made to the High Court’s judgment in Barbaro v R (2014) 305 ALR 323 which considered the role of the prosecution in the process of sentencing by a court. However, the text is essentially practical and will be of much assistance to all those involved in the criminal prosecution process. – Cahal Fairfield, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, Sept 2015

With its focus on practical advice and up-to-date statute and case law references, this is a useful practitioner text: not only for legal practitioners, but police, correctional officers, and others involved in the administration of criminal justice. Perhaps Queensland-based practitioners will not turn to the text as frequently as our Victorian counterparts, given the focus on Victorian criminal procedure, but the clear discussions on the rules of evidence, for instance, are applicable Australia-wide. The text also considers offences under commonwealth law and the way these are dealt with in state courts. The authorities discussed are predominantly decisions of the High Court of Australia and the Victorian Court of Appeal and should therefore provide helpful guidance for all state and territory jurisdictions. – Queensland Law Reporter – 8 May 2015 – [2015] 17 QLR

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