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Rook and Ward on Sexual Offences
Rook and Ward on Sexual Offences
Law & Practice
5th Edition
Practice Area:  Criminal Law
ISBN:  9780414050747
Published by:  Sweet & Maxwell
Publication Date:  24 Jun 2016
Subscription Information:  Non-Subscribable Product
Format:  Hardback
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  • Gives authoritative guidance on sexual offences and is frequently cited in court
  • Covers all the statutory and common law offences
  • Deals with each offence in detail in separate chapters, defining the offence and detailing the mode of trial and punishment, bail conditions, sentencing, etc
  • Provides practical advice on evidence, disclosure and sentencing
    Uses flowcharts and checklists to guide those defending or prosecuting sex cases
  • Clarifies the difficult area of admissibility of previous sexual history evidence
  • Explains how to present and test DNA evidence in court
  • Deals with the regime for vulnerable witnesses
  • Shows how key definitions in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 have been revisited by important Court of Appeal decisions
  • Explains the Sentencing Guidelines Council’s guideline on sentencing in sexual cases
  • Examines bad character evidence in relation to sexual offences
  • Features new chapters on Medical Evidence on Child Sex Abuse, The Effects of the Psychological Trauma of Sexual Assault upon Victims, Historic Cases, and Trial of Young Defendants Accused of Sexual Offences

Significant developments included in the 5th edition: 

  • A new Sexual Offences Definitive Guideline, published by the Sentencing Council and in effect from April 1, 2014. In an important change from the previous approach, this Guideline focuses on the harm to the victim and the culpability of the offender rather than on the nature of the physical activity or the behaviour of the victim;
  • A number of important cases giving further interpretation to the definition of consent, particularly in the context of grooming and deception;
  • The introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 dealing with human trafficking for exploitation and containing a defence for trafficked victims;
  • Key decisions involving the approach to evidence, including bad character evidence and hearsay;
  • Significant developments in the law on reporting restrictions relating to children and young persons and in guidance and practice relating to the naming of suspected sex offenders;
  • Important case law on the treatment of vulnerable witnesses;
  • Further developments in the law relating to the prosecution and sentencing of historic cases, which continue to come before the courts in numbers; and 
  • A new Judicial Protocol on disclosure of unused material in criminal cases.

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Preparatory Offences

Offences against Public Decency

Police Investigation of Rape and Serious Sexual Offences

Prosecuting Rape and Serious Sexual Offences - CPS Policy and Decision-Making


Evidence: General

Evidence of Bad Character

Medical Evidence: Adults

Medical Evidence: Children

Psychological Effects of Rape and Serious Sexual Assault

Expert Evidence

DNA Evidence

Restrictions on Evidence or questions about the Complainant’s Sexual History

Vulnerable Witnesses, “Special Measures” and Related Matters

Advocacy and the Vulnerable

Anonymity in Sex Cases and reporting restrictions relation to Children and Young Persons

Historic cases

Sexual Offences in the Youth Court

Sexual Offences in Northern Ireland

The Sentencing of Sex Offenders: The Definitive Guideline

Sentencing of Sex Offenders

Notification and Notification Order

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders



HH Judge Peter Rook QC
Author of previous 4 editions. Peter was appointed to the bench in 2005, currently sitting at the Central Criminal Court. Former barrister, former head of chambers at 18 Red Lion Chambers and former Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association.

Robert Ward CBE QC
Author of previous 4 editions. Barrister and former lecturer at Cambridge University.



“This book shines a penetrating—indeed brilliant—light on this rapidly evolving landscape....It is difficult to see how anyone involved in these cases will be able to discharge their function properly without this text lying somewhere close at hand. I commend it without reservation.”
Lord Justice Fulford, Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales

"...In recent years the market has benefitted from a number of other books on this area of law, many of which are very good indeed. However, if your library budget only allows for one purchase then it must be this. It is for all intents and purposes the ‘Archbold of sexual offences law’. The legal analysis is, as you would expect, first class. However, the book goes far beyond that, including for example detailed and excellent chapters on topics such as medical evidence. It is this feature that sets the book apart from the rest. I cannot recommend it enough..." CrimeLine (445) 20 May 2011 + Friday Book Review on the 4th Edition




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