Sexual Offences: Law & Practice, 5th Edition

Sexual Offences: Law & Practice, 5th Edition

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Author: HH Judge Peter Rook; Robert Ward
Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell U.K.
ISBN: 9780414070721
Published In: April 2019

"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.


The leading work on sexual offences, Rook & Ward on Sexual Offences provides coverage of the most up to date legislation including the latest amendments to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, along with current practice and procedure. It is an essential tool for all those involved in prosecuting, defending and trying sexual offence cases, including lawyers, police and medical practitioners. 

Significant developments included in the 5th edition:

  • 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 defense for trafficked victims;
  • Key decisions involving the approach to evidence, including bad character evidence and hearsay; important Court of Appeal cases on the 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 the offender rather than on the nature of the physical activity or the behaviour of the victim;
  • Significant development 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 and a new chapter on advocacy and the vulnerable;
  • A separate chapter devoted to historic cases including further developments in the law relating to the prosecution and prosecution and sentencing of such cases, which come before the courts in increasing numbers;
  • A new Judicial protocol on disclosure of unused material in criminal cases. 

Authored by team of expert contributors leb by - 

HH Judge Peter Rook QC

A senior Circuit Judge, Peter was appointed to the Bench in 2005. Currently sits at the Central Criminal Court and in the Court of appeal. 

Robert Ward CBE QC

Author of previous 4 editions. Barrister and former lecturer at the University of Cambridge.