Report Released on a Sentencing Guidelines Council for Victoria

25 May 2018

The Sentencing Advisory Council has today released a report on the introduction of a sentencing guidelines council in Victoria.

The report follows a request for advice from the Attorney-General. The government announced in May 2017 that it would be introducing legislation in 2018 to establish a sentencing guidelines council.

The report makes a number of recommendations in relation to key features of the sentencing guidelines council, as well as the sentencing guidelines it would create.

The Council has recommended that the sentencing guidelines council should:

  • aim to achieve consistency in how courts sentence, while preserving judicial discretion
  • be constituted by a combination of community and expert members, including retired judicial officers
  • engage in broad consultation in the development of a sentencing guideline, including publishing a draft of each guideline for stakeholders to comment on.

The Council has also recommended that sentencing guidelines should:

  • create a transparent decision-making process that courts would be required to follow, unless doing so would not be in the interests of justice
  • be able to provide guidance to courts on the sentencing of specific offences, as well as the application of certain broader sentencing principles
  • apply to all relevant offences sentenced after the guideline comes into operation.

A Sentencing Guidelines Council for Victoria: Report is available from this website.