Sentencing Council criticised before it starts

Wednesday 14 April 2010 at 12:13 pm | In News | Post Comment
Recent changes have transferred the making of sentencing guidelines from the Sentencing Advisory Panel to the Sentencing Council. The change was criticised in 2009 by circuit judges but has still gone ahead.

Professor Andrew Ashworth, the Vinerian professor of English law at the University of Oxford is critical of the new legislation that accompanies the change.

The legislation states that judges must, “follow any sentencing guidelines which are relevant to the offender’s case … unless the court is satisfied that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so”. Previously judges were compelled to merely “have regard to” relevant guidelines and to give reasons for any departure from them.

The new act allows judges the freedom to give offenders a sentence anywhere between the bottom of the lowest category – of five categories – and the top of the highest category, without explaining their rationale.

No Comments yet »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^