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The 1st edition was published in 1965 - From the Preface...
It is thought that university teachers and undergraduates will require no explanation or apology for the production of a new text-book on the substantive law of crime. Criminal Law has not received the same detailed and critical examination in university text-books as have other fields of the common law, for example, Contract and Tort.
In the university law schools Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law has long held almost unchallenged sway but it is now sixty-three years since the first edition of that classic work appeared. An immense amount of work has been done on the Criminal Law in the meantime, not least by the present learned editor of Kenny Dr J W C Turner. There may now be something to be said for a book which makes a completely fresh start Cross and Jones’s Introduction to Criminal Law, on the other hand, may be thought too brief for the needs of the undergraduate—though we are full of admiration for the amount of information and learning which those authors have packed into so small a space.
Moreover, both of these books deal in a single volume not only with the substantive law but also with Criminal Procedure and Evidence. Dr. Glanville Williams’s great work, Criminal Law: The General Part, covers only general principles, while other books covering the whole field do not face up to the problems with which the undergraduate is expected to grapple.
We have endeavoured to provide the undergraduate with as complete an exposition of the substantive Criminal Law as he has to guide him in other fields of study. We have excluded Procedure and Evidence from consideration except in so far as these are necessary for an understanding of the law. Only by so doing could we give our subject the kind of treatment we think it demands. Moreover, Evidence is now commonly regarded as a worthy subject of academic study in its own right; and Criminal Procedure is by no means always part of a Criminal Law course.
All the more important crimes are examined. Few courses, in or out of universities, perhaps cover so much ground; but the book allows scope for selection. In making the book reasonably comprehensive, we have not been unmindful of the fact that the practitioner commonly, and increasingly, finds assistance in the solution of problems in books designed primarily for students; and the citation of authorities is, therefore, more extensive than the needs of the undergraduate alone would have required We have drawn freely on the published researches of scholars in the Criminal Law, not only in Britain but also in the Common- wealth and United States In particular, we would acknowledge our debt, which will be apparent in almost every chapter, to the writings of Dr Glanville Williams.
We have derived great assistance from many discussions with our colleagues and students at Nottipgham and elsewhere; and our thanks are particularly due to Mr P R H Webb who read the whole of the manuscript. Tribute is also due to the helpfulness and, particularly, the patience of our publishers who waited a long time, without complaint, for the manuscript. Even their tolerance, however, is hardly in the same class as that of our wives, particularly thrcughout a recent long vacation during which we almost lived in the law library.
The book began as the work of only the first-named author, but the task proved greater than expected and a large proportion of the text has been contri- buted by the second. It has been revised in common and we each accept responsibility for the whole. We have endeavoured to state the law as at April 30, 1965.J.C. SMITH BRIAN HOGAN