Campbell, Kilcommins and O’Sullivan on Criminal Law in Ireland
Congratulations to regular HRinI contributor Liz Cambell and Shane Kilcommins (UCC) and Catherine O’Sullivan (UCC) on the publication of their book Criminal Law in Ireland: Cases and Commentary (2010, Clarus Press). Running to over 1,000 pages, the book is the first cases and materials book on criminal law to be published in Ireland for almost 20 years. We wish them the best with it and are happy to include this extract from the Preface giving an idea of the approach of the book, including its focus on questions of how human rights and criminal justice intersect:
The corpus of Irish criminal law has been comprehensively outlined by various authors over the years including McAuley and McCutcheon (2000), Charleton, McDermott, and Bolger (1999), Hanly (2006), Quinn (1998), and McIntyre and McMullan (2005). This work draws upon many of these commentaries though it is in essence different in that it adopts a cases and materials format. Such an approach to criminal law has not been evident in Ireland since Charleton’s excellent cases and materials book which was produced in 1992.
This book is designed to help law students to understand the fundamental rules, principles and policy considerations that govern the criminal law in Ireland. It attempts to address a comprehensive range of issues including the definition of a crime, its various classifications, the imposition of liability, the range of substantive criminal law offences, the procedural rules that shape the pre-trial and trial processes, and the possible defences that may arise.
It provides students with a broad range of perspectives including formal case law, statutory and constitutional provisions, academic commentaries and Law Reform Commission policy recommendations. It combines domestic law with ECHR jurisprudence and persuasive authorities from other jurisdictions. Through a combination of the criminal rules along with excerpts from cases, articles, notes and texts, this book seeks to inform the user of the formal criminal law and to provide a gateway to some of the more conceptual debates in the subject area.
The primary purpose of the book is to broaden the reading horizons of law students. It seeks not only to trace the lines of development of the various rules emanating from the courts and the legislature, but also to provide an entry point for broader discursive analysis of the workings of those rules, the ideological currents running through them and the policy implications for choosing one rule over another.