Book Reviews


The Modern Law of Evidence

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Authors: Adrian Keane & Paul McKeown

Price: 34.99

Edition: 10th Edition (March 2014)

ISBN: 978-0-19-968434-2

Buy from OUP: Click Here

I was surprised to see that this latest edition of the well-regarded text from Adrian Keane and Paul McKeown, The Modern Law of Evidence, is now in its tenth edition.  This is perhaps not surprising as the last few editions have been published on a bi-annual basis.  But this increase in the regulatory of new editions is extremely warranted.  The preface makes it clear that since the last edition there have been some 180 reported cases and some 36 articles written by lawyers, both academic and in practice, as well as those from other disciplines.  However, this latest edition of The Modern Law of Evidence does not just take those developments into account; it also considers many others.

The Modern Law of Evidence is split into twenty-two chapters.  These include: introduction; preliminaries; evidence obtained by illegal or unfair means; the burden and standard of proof; witnesses; evidence-in-chief; cross-examination and re-examination;' corroboration and care warnings; documentary and real evidence; hearsay in criminal cases; hearsay admissible by statute in civil proceedings; hearsay admissible at common law; confessions; statutory inferences from an accused's silence or conduct; evidence of character; opinion evidence; privilege; and judgments as evidence of the facts upon which they were based.

It will be of no surprise to those who have already used The Modern Law of Evidence that this latest edition continues to be clear, concise and accessible.  The new material has been seamlessly woven into the existing material meaning you have an up to date and authoritative text which tackles the theory behind the practice (which is vital for any undergraduate student).  Even though the text was only published in March 2014, it already has an update for many of the chapters (also published in March 2014) on the Online Resource Centre ("ORC").  This is exactly what a good ORC should be like; and hopefully the material will continue to be updated on a regular basis.

If you are looking for an impressive consideration of evidence law then The Modern Law of Evidence is exactly the text you need (particularly if you have an interest in criminal law).  It is well-written and often tackles issues which may other texts do not.  For example, it looks technical issues like the reversed burden of proof in some statutory provisions (see, for example, the provisions in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Consumer Credit Act 1974) and it would be good if some of these issues had further consideration (although it is, of course, accepted that there must be some limits to ensure it is a manageable sized text).  The ORC also makes the text, at less than 35, excellent value for money for both students and practitioners.

Reviewed on 20 July 2014

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