Extension of Unduly Lenient Sentence (rights of appeal) to 14 new criminal offences

Chair’s Observations:

Victims of crime and the tax paying public need to have confidence in the court process. The independent judiciary are doing an outstanding job to ensure that where perpetrators are convicted they receive the correct sentence. Judges also have to follow set guidelines, which at times may not satisfy the wider appetite for swingeing sentences.

The public needs to understand that often the judiciary are left with little room for discretion on sentencing due to increasingly detailed, prescriptive sentencing guidelines that bind their hands in terms of strict maximum and minimum terms for categories of offences.The extension of the undue leniency scheme will ensure that public confidence is maintained.  Justice needs to be dispensed for the people not by the people.

All this will be go nowhere if there is limited and hap hazard investment in the criminal justice systematically . Such a move cannot be viewed in isolation.

Caroline Goodwin QC

Chair

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