8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2005
In my view this is by far and away the most lucid explanation of the difficult topic of Criminal Evidence that I have come across. Roberts and Zuckerman explain very clearly the background to each topic and why the law has developed the way it has. They also analyse all the many flaws in the system and use many interesting illustrations while using case law sparingly. This is how a law textbook for those students taking a serious interest in the subject should be written. Sadly, many writers of legal textbooks take an "ignotum per ignotius" approach (explanations that leave readers more baffled than before). Roberts and Zuckerman's text is clear in its exposition and eminently readable.
Two slight quibbles: firstly, there are some elementary spelling errors throughout the text that are obviously the result of using a word processing spell-check tool (e.g. "form" instead of "from"). A Mark I eyeball check would have eliminated these; secondly, a summary of the many points made in each chapter would be helpful as it is easy to lose sight of the overall picture as the (fascinating) detail is unfolded.
Apart from these slight quibbles, I would venture to say that this is one of the best legal textbooks for students of law that I have come across so far, and not just in the field of Criminal Evidence. It shows that the subject is "do-able" and far from being rocket science, it shows that law is not as difficult as some would have us believe. The trick is in the way you tell it!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2009
I do not understand how anyone can write a negative review about this book. I am reaching the end of my final year of a Law degree, and this book is one of the best that I have read.
It is clear, it is well written, and it explains all of the key areas in sufficient detail. There are lots of cases and statutory provisions mentioned, and it offers an interesting insight into a complex area of law. It offers critical comment in appropriate areas, and summarises the opinions of other academics in the field. It can be best described as 'the Bible of Criminal Evidence'.
If you are undertaking a Criminal Evidence module at University, then I fully recommend this book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2006
I'm afraid to say I don't agree with the other review at all. This is a terrible textbook for students. So much so that although we are required to buy it, it is wholly necessary to buy a second textbook to ensure you understand the course.
If you want pages and pages of abstract analysis, theoretical waffle and social policy, then by all means go for this book. However, most students want more hard law in their textbooks to actually get them through exams. There is very little emphasis on cases and I don't find the structure to be very helpful or even logical in some places.
I think that while this would be a good book to dip into for essay writing, it is terrible for week to week learning and I dread picking it up.