Reviews of Legal Education and Training (Hardee); Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 (Brown); Road Traffic Sentencing Referencer (Morrison & Crowe)

Legal Education and Training

A Practical Guide for Law Firms

Melissa Hardee


ISBN: 9781405746229

PRICE: £150

“To have staff who are not up to the job or who are doing less than they are capable of means that you are footing the bill for wasted capacity. You need the right resources working to capacity, particularly when times are tough and margins are lean.”

In summary that is the premise and the raison d’être of this work. I was a little disconcerted to read in the foreword that “this is a very important book”. An author with a good conceit of herself, I thought, until I realised these were the words of Tony King, chair of the (English) Law Society’s Education and Training Committee. The author herself points out that if you have invested in a combination oven/grill/microwave, you need to make sure you can use it for more than reheating a cup of coffee.

The book is in five sections, namely Issues for Management; Regulation; Designing and Delivering Training; Meeting Training Needs within the Firm; and The Training Function. She readily deals with the training sceptics, while being alive to the many ways in which a training budget can be wasted. Training for its own sake is of no value – learn how to measure the return.

The regulation section is very thorough. This is not an English book to which a mini-kilt has been added. The section about our own rules and procedures is written in as much detail as that relating to south of the border. The section on designing and delivering training is impressive. Most senior lawyers have given training in one shape or form over the years. How many of us understand the learning process, and how it varies from person to person? How many of us did appropriate preparation or got suitable feedback from those poor glazed-eye trainees? Whisper it if ye dare – teachers are highly trained professionals. If we decide to have more of our CPD done in-house, let’s make sure we do that as professionally as we deal with our clients’ business.

The rest of the book contains all manner of useful tips, from how to design, develop and evaluate a training programme, to the nuts and bolts of getting the best out of PowerPoint.

Tony King’s foreword is spot on. I commend this book to you all.

  • Tom Johnston, Young & Partners LLP

Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

Alastair Brown


ISBN: 9780414017856

PRICE: £45

When brought into force (anticipated to be this autumn), this legislation will sweep away centuries of precedent in what can already be a complex area of criminal law. Dr Alastair Brown brings his characteristic clarity of thought to his annotations on legislation which he describes as “a complete recasting and comprehensive codification of the substantive law of sexual offences in Scotland”.

Dr Brown’s annotations take account of the approach to the legislation taken by the Scottish Law Commission upon whose recommendations the Act is broadly based, as well as English and European case law. Given the impact of the legislation in practice, this annotated volume is a must for all who practise law in this area.

  • David J Dickson

Road Traffic Sentencing Referencer

Nigel Morrison and Frank Crowe


ISBN: 9780414017894

PRICE: £45

This offprint from Sentencing Practice is highly useful, giving as it does guidance to the approach adopted by the courts to sentencing in this area of law. Each of the major offences is taken in turn, the maximum penalties that may be imposed noted as well as the position of relevant penalty points, followed by any guidelines the High Court may have offered, and cases of interest, which are concisely annotated.

As a separate offprint it might have been useful to have the offence included at the beginning of the section and a table outlining the broad range of sentence imposed, but this does not detract from what is a useful, handy guide that practitioners would find beneficial.

  • David J Dickson
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