• A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales by John Hostettler - book cover

A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales

by John Hostettler


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John Hostettler’s work is an ideal introduction. It charts all the main developments of criminal justice, from Anglo-Saxon dooms to the Common Law, struggles for political, legislative and judicial ascendency and the formation of the modern-day Criminal Justice System. Among a wealth of topics the book looks at the Rule of Law, the development of the criminal courts, police forces, jury, justices of the peace and individual crimes and punishments. It locates all the iconic events of criminal justice history and law reform within a wider background and context – demonstrating a wealth and depth of knowledge. John Hostettler is well-known to readers of Waterside Press books. He is just as at home discussing the Star Chamber or Seven Bishops as he is the impact of the executions of King Charles I, Derek Bentley or Ruth Ellis. From Victorian policing to madness and mayhem, hate crime and miscarriages of justice to radicals, terrorists, human rights or restorative justice, A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales contains an enormous supply of facts, information, and ideas.


  • Origins of Criminal Justice in Anglo-Saxon England;
  • Saxon Dooms – Our Early Laws;
  • The Norman Influence & The Angevin Legacy;
  • Criminal Law In Medieval & Early Modern England;
  • The Common Law in Danger;
  • The Commonwealth;
  • The Whig Supremacy and Adversary Trial;
  • The Jury in the Eighteenth Century;
  • Punishment & Prisons;
  • Nineteenth Century Crime & Policing;
  • Victorian Images;
  • A Century of Criminal Law Reform;
  • Criminal Incapacity;
  • A Revolution in Procedure;
  • Early Twentieth Century;
  • Improvement After World War II;
  • Twenty-First Century Regression?;
  • The Advent of Restorative Justice;
  • Conclusion;
  • Select Bibliography

. An excellent treatment. A must for a wide range of readers.


‘Highly recommended’: Choice (Current Reviews for Academic Libraries)

‘A captivating book that will have readers, who are interested in the subject matter and/or students studying any element of criminal justice absorbed… a thoroughly enjoyable read’: Internet Law Book Reviews

‘This is a good book from a well-respected publishing house. It could helpfully form part of the required reading on the programmes which develop the criminal justice system’s senior managers, as well as occupying a place on the bookshelves of many other people’: Prison Service Journal

‘It would be well if every criminal lawyer had a copy of this book, so rich in information and detail, but at the very least every student entering law school should have a copy and read it; thus would the intricacies of modern criminal justice law make sense. There is a rich bibliography and a comprehensive index, and at a cost of a few gallons of petrol it is a fantastic bargain’: Criminal Law and Justice Weekly

‘I found this provided a comprehensive and very helpful and informative review of the history of criminal justice and will be adopting this book and placing it on the reading list for my 2nd year Justice Module students on the BA Hons in Youth Studies course’: David Ellicott, Nottingham Trent University

‘Provides a comprehensive historical account of a number of different areas of criminal justice’: Helen Poole, Coventry University

Additional information

Weight499 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 19 mm


Waterside Press




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United Kingdom

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