Recommend to your Librarian

Scots Criminal Law

A Critical Analysis

Pamela R. Ferguson, Claire McDiarmid

Edition: 2

eBook (PDF) i

An up-to-date, theoretical and critical focus on Scots Criminal Law for students and practitioners

New for this edition

  • Discusses the redefinitions of the crimes of murder and breach of the peace, and the broader application of the necessity defence
  • Takes into account key statutory developments including the enactment of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012

Now in its second edition, Scots Criminal Law – A Critical Analysis provides a clear statement of the current law, focusing on theory and criticism. It also considers what types of behaviours are subject to the criminal law sanction, and why.


Table of Cases
Table of Legislation
Commonly Used Abbreviations
1: Philosophical Underpinnings
2: Principles of Criminalisation
3: Harming and Offending
4: Fairness and Justice in Criminalisation
5: Procedural Framework and Sources
6: Actus Reus and Mens Rea
7: General Principles of Liability
8: Preventive Offences
9: Homicide
10: Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person
11: Sexual Offences
12: Crimes of Dishonesty
13: Other Property-Related Crimes
14: Offences Against the Course of Justice
15: Public Order Offences
16: Offensive Behaviours
17: General Principles of Statutory Offences
18: Business Crime, Regulatory Offences, “White Collar” Crime and Corporate Liability
19: Alibi, Incrimination, Non-Age, Error and Consent
20: Mental Disorder, Unfitness for Trial, Diminished Responsibility, Intoxication and Automatism
21: Coercion, Necessity, Self-Defence, Provocation, Superior Orders and Entrapment
22: The Future Development of Scots Criminal Law

About the Author

Pamela Ferguson is Professor of Scots Law at the University of Dundee. She is author of Breach of the Peace and Scots Criminal Law, 2nd edition (EUP, 2014).

Claire McDiarmid is Reader in Law at the University of Strathclyde. She has been teaching and researching Scots criminal law for more than 20 years. She is co-author, with Professor Pamela Ferguson, of Scots Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis (2nd ed: Edinburgh University Press, 2014) and Scots Criminal Law Essentials (3rd ed: Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and has also published widely on legal responses to children who offend.


The second edition of this text has been updated to reflect the significant changes seen to Scots criminal law in recent years. The references to Scottish crime statistics, case law and academic work are certainly the most up to date available for students or practitioners looking to a single source … The detail included in the book, suggested by its 600 plus pages, is impressive. The cases referred to extend, of course, beyond Scotland and into other jurisdictions … Overall, the depth of material contained within this text makes it a valuable resource for all those interested in criminal law, whether that be in the realms of practice or as an academic pursuit.

- Rachel McPherson, University of Glasgow, Edinburgh Law Review

Inspection Copy

You must log in or register to request an inspection copy.