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Sentencing guidance reference

Sentencing guidance reference

By Gemma Hazmi

Advocacy Drugs Punishment 


The LIV welcomes this review and is grateful for the opportunity to provide the Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) with a submission to the Consultation Paper on the Sentencing Guidance Reference (the Consultation Paper).

We note that SAC has been asked to advise the Attorney General on the most effective legislative mechanism to provide sentencing guidance to the courts in a way that:

  • promotes consistency of approach in sentencing offenders
  • promotes public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Accordingly, we have undertaken some research into sentencing mechanisms in other comparable jurisdictions. We have endeavoured to answer specific questions asked in the Consultation paper, as well as reiterate our positon on sentencing principles generally.

After careful consideration of proposals in the Consultation Paper, the LIV submits that as with the current baseline sentencing scheme, a presumptive standard non-parole period scheme or a presumptive standard sentencing scheme fails to take into consideration the various ways in which an offence may be committed.

At present, judges are required to make an assessment of the offender’s moral culpability. This is a nuanced task which is vitally important to an offender receiving the appropriate sentence. The LIV submits that any form of baseline sentencing scheme is simply a variation on the theme of mandatory sentencing – a concept which the LIV has consistently and strongly opposed.

Download Submission

Gemma Hazmi, Senior Lawyer, Criminal Law Section

T: 03 9607 9365


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