The Sentencing Academy has produced a report reviewing ethnicity and custodial sentencing trends from 2009 to 2019. Over the years, several official reports have addressed the role of race and ethnicity in sentencing decisions. The current report looked at sentencing patterns for different offender profiles with two key issues that emerged. The first was ethnic disproportionality, and the...Read More
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in early July and awaits a second reading. The Bill is formed of thirteen parts, including provisions to:
introduce measures for the protection of the police;
introduce legislation for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime;
make changes to the policing of protests;
create new offences for...Read More
A new draft sentencing guideline for the offence of importing prohibited or restricted firearms has been published for consultation. There are no current guidelines in respect of these offences, although there are eight current guidelines for offences under the Firearms Act 1968.
Sentencing guidelines set the range for sentences and are intended to reflect current sentencing practices for the...Read More
The Sentencing Council has announced a consultation on the revision of sentencing guidelines for domestic, non-domestic and aggravated burglary offences.
The existing burglary definitive guideline was the second to be developed by the Sentencing Council and came into force under criminal law in 2012. The proposed guidelines have been developed following an evaluation of the existing ones.
A number of the definitive guidelines published by the Sentencing Council direct Judges and Magistrates to consider whether the victim of an offence has suffered severe psychological harm.
In some guidelines, that question has to be considered at step 1 of the sentencing process: a finding of severe psychological harm places the case into a higher category and thus increases the starting point...Read More
This is the name of the paper presented to Parliament that proposes changes to the sentencing and release frameworks in the criminal justice system.
The paper sets out the “problems” they have identified in the system. They are automatic release, improving confidence and addressing the causes of offending.
Automatic release – the blanket use of automatic release was said to...Read More
In cases where there is more than one defendant, it is a common scenario that one or more pleads guilty, perhaps at an early stage, but others continue their case to trial. When should those who plead guilty early on be sentenced?
A question then arises as to whether those who have pleaded guilty earlier should be sentenced immediately, or at some other point.
The starting point is that a...Read More
The dictionary definition of “to mitigate” is to lessen in force or intensity, to make less severe. Mitigation is the act of reducing how harmful, unpleasant or bad something is. It is something that causes the court to judge a crime to be less serious or to make a punishment less severe.
There are obvious mitigating factors that most people know about. These include...Read More
Sentencing is a complex process. Consequently the courts are provided with guidelines by the Sentencing Council. These assist in determining the appropriate sentence for a wide, and ever-expanding, range of offences.
The guidelines provide guidance on factors the court should take into account that may affect the sentence given.
Different levels of sentence are set out based on the harm...Read More
The government has announced changes to the Unduly Lenient Sentence (‘ULS’) Scheme.
There are certain offences where the prosecution (via the Attorney General) can ask the Court of Appeal to review a sentence if it is thought to be unduly lenient.
Who can apply?
Any person who thinks a sentence was unduly lenient can ask the Attorney General to consider a sentence. The Attorney...Read More