Student review: Evidence in Context

November 8, 2012

Authors: Jonathan Doak and Claire McGourlay

Edition: Third

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis

Pages: 392

Price: £90.00 and £30.99

ISBN: 97804156696432 and 68422

Evidence in Context has become a trusted book on the law of evidence. Now in its third edition, it has undergone a substantial shift from previous editions, changing its title from Criminal Evidence in Context as it has widened the areas of law into which it delves to include developments in civil law. Yet the main aims of the book are unchanged. It still explains, and sets out clearly and succinctly, the key concepts of the modern law of evidence.

Its 13 chapters focus on everything from the basic concepts of evidence to improperly obtained evidence. One way it achieves its aims is by setting the laws and rules of evidence in clear and unambiguous example scenarios for the reader. This truly makes the law easier to understand and to follow, and by being presented in the context of a pragmatic real-world scenario, the law also becomes far more accessible to the average reader.

The book is an excellent resource for undergraduates and useful for those in practice needing answers to problems of evidence - the authors put the law concisely while also helping readers to understand the issues surrounding the law.

The theoretical side of evidence law is also successfully considered here. Not only does Evidence in Context help if one is looking for the up-to-date law on a given topic, but it also explains the debates surrounding the law. It explains the law, its context, its development and its origins. This is useful to those who are not looking for a book about the simple "rules" of evidence but who wish to analyse the current law.

The book even includes a chapter that analyses the adversarial system of trial that is favoured in England and Wales.

Especially noteworthy is the fact that the book is up to date with the current law, including cases that were reported as late as 2011, which confirms that Jonathan Doak and Claire McGourlay have really done their work in keeping this latest edition as relevant as possible.

Who is it for? Evidence law students and practitioners.

Presentation: Easy to follow and straightforward, with a good use of footnotes.

Would you recommend it? Certainly. For those looking into practical evidence law problems, and the theoretical arguments behind the law, it is invaluable.

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