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First Steps in the Law

Seventh Edition

Geoffrey Rivlin

21 May 2015

ISBN: 9780198735892

416 pages

In Stock

Price: £19.99

The most readable introduction to law, providing an entertaining overview of the legal system



Fascinating and insightful in its coverage, this is essential reading for anyone who has ever been curious about the law. First Steps in the Law looks at how laws are made, how cases are tried, and the characters involved; ideal for anyone needing an understanding of law, whether at university, college, or at work.

  • An ideal introduction for anyone who is preparing for a law course or requires an understanding of the law in their working life
  • Engaging and highly readable coverage of the history and workings of the courts and their personnel; the lively writing style brings the law to life
  • Geoffrey Rivlin's vast experience and fascinating detail provide an insightful snapshot of the English legal system

New to this edition

  • Revised and restructured for this edition to provide the most accessible and approachable introduction for those new to law
  • Expanded coverage of Europe reflects the growing importance of EU and international law
  • New coverage of the human rights of young offenders in the chapter on young persons helps readers to understand this fascinating area of the law

About the Author(s)

Geoffrey Rivlin, Former Senior Resident Judge, Southwark Crown Court

His Honour Geoffrey Rivlin QC was a Senior Circuit Judge and the Honorary Recorder of Westminster. Before he became a Judge he was a barrister and Queen's Counsel. He is a Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple and has devoted much time to assisting with the training of young advocates and newly appointed judges.

Table of Contents

    Part One
    1:Introduction: the Royal Courts of Justice
    2:The law and its importance
    3:The invisible palace I: Common law and equity
    4:The invisible palace II: the Constitution
    5:The Palace of Westminster: our chief law makers
    6:The Police: our chief law enforcers
    7:The Judiciary: our law upholders
    Part Two
    8:The legal profession
    11:The courts
    12:Criminal and civil cases
    Part Three
    14:Human rights
    15:Discrimination and the law
    Part Four
    16:Criminal trials through the ages
    17:Punishments though the ages
    18:Criminal trials today
    19:Punishments today
    20:Young persons
    Part Five
    21:European Union law
    22:Laws around the world
    23:Some interesting cases


Review from previous edition Many other text books are boring; their writing is heavy-going and immediately puts students off. This book is a joy to read; it makes the topics interesting by picking out stories that relate and explain the subject matter. - Amanda Taylor, Lecturer, University of Westminster

This book is a great introduction to law for our students; the content is always contemporary and detailed and it is written in an extremely engaging, stimulating and lively way. We find that students particularly like the interesting cases chapter. - Joanne Sellick, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, University of Plymouth

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