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This is a pretty heavy-duty textbook that carries a lot of clout with the law schools.
Clarkson and Keating seem to include a lot of opinions from the Lords and include some of the facts and summaries of the cases concerned as well. This is good in the sense that you may not need to refer to the law reports as much in the library.
However, I found myself confused at several junctures due to the many varied opinions given and would have preferred somthing more concise and less elaborated.
It really depends on the type of person you are. This textbook may be very helpful if you want more than just a brief overview and a technical approach to the mechanics of the law. It gives you all you need to know about crime and punishment, the general principles of criminal liability, general defences, homicide and offences against property.
Although I did'nt find this textbook particularly helpful for prepping 3hrs before hand and needing something that would give me an extremely clear picture of the topic, it did however, help in allowing me to appreciate the criminal law in its various aspects, its historical derivation, the philosophy behind some of the defences and the broader aspects when I had more time to absorb and classify all that it had to say.
However, the textbook I own is a fourth edition by Sweet and Maxwell of 1998 and may not include some of the more previous cases in 1999 and 2000, which may be pertinent to the new laws as the UK heavily reliant on the decisions of the judges when it comes to laying down new law.
It costs about £ 15.00 and I would definitely recommend it to a law student.