Book reviews - Charleton & McDermott’s Criminal Law and Evidence (2nd Edition)

AuthorMatthew Holmes
Pagespp 183 - 185
Published date12 January 2022
Date12 January 2022
Charleton & McDermott’s Criminal Law
and Evidence
(2nd Edition)
Charleton and McDermott’s Criminal Law and Evidence by Peter Charleton,
Paul A McDermott, Ciara Herlihy, and Stephen Byrne (2nd edn, Bloomsbury
Professional, 2020)
It is September 1999. People are worrying about the Millennium Bug, Lou Bega’s
“Mambo no 5” and Eiel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” are battling it out for the top
of the charts and a quiet revolution is taking place in Irish Criminal law. is is
because the rst edition of Charleton, McDermott and Bolger on Criminal law has
just been published by Bloomsbury.
Prior to the publication of this textbook there were very few dedicated practitioner
textbooks on Irish Criminal Law. A look at the Law Library catalog ue from 1986
to 1999 shows a grand total of 10 new Irish textbooks on the subject, three of
which were new editions of the same text (ree others were by a certain Peter
Charleton BL). e vast majority of textbooks which would have been available to
Irish criminal lawyers at the time would have been published for the English legal
In the twenty years since its publication the number of texts in the area has increased
hugely, seeing the rst publication of books now considered the staples of the area,
such as Walsh on Criminal Procedure,1 McGrath on Evidence2 and O’Malley on
e Criminal Process.3 e second edition of Charleton and McDermott enters
a much more crowded market than its predecessor. is is partly the fault of the
success of the rst edition, which helped to open doors for other works in the area
by showing the need for a comprehensive textbook aimed at practitioners of Irish
criminal law.
is book has big boots to ll. I must admit some trepidation in reviewing it. What
if the second edition doesn’t live up to the rst? Who am I to criticise a book by a
* Matthew Holmes is a practising barrister specialising in regulatory crime and lecturer in criminal
law in Independent College. He is the author of both editions of the Nutshells on Administrative
law (omson Roundhall, 2014 & 2021), the Nutshells on EU Law (omson Roundhall, 2017)
and the Essential law text on Evidence (omson Roundhall, 2019). He is currently working on a
forthcoming textbook on Criminal Procedure in Circuit Court Trials.
1 Criminal Procedure (Sweet and Maxwell, 2002), now on its second edition.
2 Evidence, Declan McGrath (omson Roundhall, 2004), now on its third edition.
3 e Criminal Process, omas O’Malley (omson Roundhall, 2009).

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