Book Reviews: Using the Law in Social Work

Robert Johns, Learning Matters

ISBN 1903300843, £14


This book is a readable introduction to the law for students in the first year of the new social work degree course, writes Ed Mitchell.

Its main strength is that it hammers home the message that social work cannot ignore the law. The numerous case studies are well-chosen with a view to getting social work students to identify the legal hard edges to social work practice.

At times it doesn’t get it quite right. For example, it says that the courts will intervene where there is evidence that a public authority has placed an “unreasonable interpretation” on a statute. The correct position is that a mistaken interpretation of a statute is a ground for judicial review, whether reasonable or not. But, generally, it expresses the law accurately and, no mean feat, clearly.

Ed Mitchell is a solicitor and is editor of Social Care Law Today

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