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Academic legal books are not cheap but they are indespensible. Here we try to evaluate the good the bad and the unnecessary.

When it comes to buying legal books keep an eye out on the second hand market. Both Amazon and eBay often feature used books. Students and people who fail the accreditation scheme will often dump unwanted books onto the marrket. But beware! Always check the publishing date. An out of date book can be downright dangerous. Law is a developing field and keeping up to date is essential.

A brand new copy of Ed Cape's bible commands a hefty price tag of around £50 but an old edition can be picked up for as little as a tenner. Keep an eye out at the end of every academic year as prices can drop dramatically.

Ed Cape's tome  is as close to Biblical as it gets!

Defending Suspects at Police Stations: The Practitioner's Guide to Advice and Representation by Ed Cape. It would be hard to over hype this book. Without a shadow of a doubt it is the bible for police station advisors. If you do not have a copy go and get one now. Chances are though that you already have a well thumbed copy! Like a vintage car it will only slowly depreciate in value. Even second hand copies on Amazon and eBay can change hands for only a little under the RRP. What makes it so good is Mr Capes sheer authority on the subject. It is comprehensive and accessible, written for the practitioner not the academic.

Archibold - not cheap but worth every penny
Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice is the serious advocate's bible. Solicitors, barristers and judges rely on it as the definitive guide to Criminal Law. This mighty tome is published annually with supplements sent to owners each month. This is a serious book with a serious price tag. New it costs £360 but we would recommend the digital edition which comes in at a whopping £500. Second hand copies go for around £80 and are well worth a look. The book considers the elements of each offence along with relevant case law.
Banks on Sentencing
Banks on Sentencing by Robert Banks is our current favourite book. Police Reps are not usually great at predicting sentences because we are only trainned to learn the maximum sentence. But clients rarely get the maximum sentence. Thats where this excellent book comes in. Robert Banks has produced an exhausitively researched guide to sentencing. It is fast becomming the definitive work for determining sentences for almost all prosecuted offences. The offences dealt with range from Smoking and Parking to Murder and Terrorism. Expect to pay over £40 for a new copy. Its so good you are unlikely to find a second hand copy in a hurry.
Nutshells Criminal Law by Paul Dobson. The Nutshells series covers an amazing variety of subjects. Although this book is aimed at law students cramming for finals it is a valuabkle tool for all police station reps. It very cheap (new its around £8 and second hand they can be picked up for pennies). But, it is very slim and will fit into a pocket. It provides a very quick and easily digestible summary of major case law for the most common offences. Every solicitor has a copy hidden away at the bottom of his desk.

Got a favourtie book you use at the police station? Contact us and we will be happy to plug it here.



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