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Law and Crime

Law and Crime

December 2009 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What is the definition of 'crime'? Law and Crime helps the criminologist to understand how the law constructs crime and how one might engage in critical analysis of such legal constructions. It uses a thematic approach to comprehensively explore the relationship between criminal conduct, criminal justice and the law.


The book introduces key topics in criminal law scholarship for criminologists, including:

  • criminalization
  • fault and criminal responsibility
  • corporate liability
  • the production of criminal guilt
  • the nature of judicial punishment.

Aimed at students with no prior knowledge of law, the book includes many useful features to enhance understanding, from chapter overviews and key terms to study questions and suggestions for further reading.



The Key Approaches to Criminology series celebrates the removal of traditional barriers between disciplines and, specifically, reflects criminology’s interdisciplinary nature and focus.  It brings together some of the leading scholars working at the intersections of criminology and related subjects.  Each book in the series helps readers to make intellectual connections between criminology and other discourses, and to understand the importance of studying crime and criminal justice within the context of broader debates. 


The series is intended to have appeal across the entire range of undergraduate and postgraduate studies and beyond, comprising books which offer introductions to the fields as well as advancing ideas and knowledge in their subject areas. 

Crime and the Criminal Law
Criminal Law and Its Critics
The Formation of Criminal Justice
The Modernization of Criminal Justice
Law, Criminology and Responsibility
Responsibility and Homicide
White-Collar and Corporate Crime and the Law
Proving Criminal Guilt
State Crime and Criminal Law

As it has developed, criminology has become rather distanced from one of it's original sources - criminal law. Law and Crime provides a clearly-written, stimulating and historically-rooted introduction to criminal law and reminds us of its continuing relevance to criminology

Professor George Mair
Liverpool John Moores University

Law and Crime is an invaluable guide for anyone wishing to explore the relationship between criminal law and criminology; between doctrine and the practices of punishment. It is a provocative and engaging exploration of the criminal law as a social institution that will be of considerable interest to criminologists and criminal lawyers alike

Professor Lucia Zedner
University of Oxford

Very good book, clear and easy for students to read.

Miss Sam Shepley
Law, Oldham College
October 4, 2022

This book should provide a helpful historical perspective for students, particularly those who find it difficult to see beyond the present day system of criminal justice.

Jamie Harding
Social Sciences, Northumbria University
August 2, 2011

This is written in an engaging style and will provide useful background reading.

Professor Pamela Ferguson
School of Law, Dundee University
March 16, 2010

Excellent introduction. Will be recommending this as an essential purchase.

Mr Doug Rae
Dept of Sociology, Northampton University
March 8, 2010

An original and thought-provoking book which situates the criminal law in a deep and rich social, historical and cultural context.

Dr Noel Cross
School of Law, Liverpool John Moores University
February 10, 2010

Whilst the book is a good introductory text it is not in sufficient detail for a LLB law criminal law module - I will be reccomending it however as background reading to any keen students who contact me prior to the course starting

Dr Karen Harrison
Law, Hull University
February 10, 2010

A very comprehensive and accessible text that will be useful to not only criminology students, but those wishing a greater understanding of aspects regarding the law and the criminal justice system.

Mr Stuart Agnew
Social Science , University Campus Suffolk Ltd
January 27, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412911245
ISBN: 9781412911238