Crimes that Shaped the Law

A fascinating look at crimes that changed our law forever.

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ISBN/ISSN: 9780409342222
Release Date: August 01, 2015
In Stock
AUD$ 48.00
ISBN/ISSN: 9780409342239
Release Date: August 01, 2015
AUD$ 48.00

Product description

The law cannot remain static, but must adjust to reflect the changing society that it serves. From time to time, criminal cases arise that dramatically dictate the need for alterations to the law. Those developments often occur, but what of the fates of those whose misfortunes were the catalyst for change? The stories of some of these unwitting — and unwilling — pioneers are collected in this fascinating book.

These twelve true-life tales include:

  • the infamous practice of ‘baby farming’ that led to a new evidentiary principle
  • the murder of two young sailors that resulted in limits on an accused person’s ‘right to silence’
  • the victim of domestic violence whose trial on a murder charge saw the recognition of the ‘battered woman syndrome’
  • the prosecutions of sleepwalkers who killed – were they criminally insane?
  • the mistaken identity conviction that led to warnings against eyewitness identification

The lively and engaging stories, spanning a hundred years, provide the historical background that led to important changes to our justice system.


  • Real-life stories provide engaging insight into our justice system
  • Offers a unique treatment of the genesis of many important legal rules
  • Written by an author with extensive background working with the rules of criminal law and evidence

Related Titles

Howard, R v Milat: A Case Study in Cross-Examination, 2014


Table of contents

Chapter 1. The Sad Fate of Horace Murray

Chapter 2. The Punching Bag who Fought Back

Chapter 3. The Blindness of the Eyewitness

Chapter 4. Trial by Chromosome

Chapter 5. Closing the Trapdoor

Chapter 6. The Golden Thread

Chapter 7. Silence in Court

Chapter 8. Germany Calling

Chapter 9. To Sleep, Perchance to Kill

Chapter 10. M’Naghten Mad

Chapter 11. The Nuremburg Solution

Chapter 12. Donning the Blinkers