Legal Studies Crime Essay

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Statutory and judicial guidelines inform the exercise of judicable discretion in the area of sentencing. These guidelines aim to provide greater uniformity in sentencing matters and enhance the integrity of the process. Judicial guidelines are judgements from superior courts that aim to structure discretion, this is shown in the case R v Jurisic (1998), this case was used by the Criminal Court of Appeals to set guidelines that any non-custodial sentence for culpable driving should be exceptional. Judges are bound to any relevant legislation which impacts upon the sentencing process such as: The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) this prescribes the maximum sentence that may be imposed for various offences. The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) this prescribes general guidelines in relation to sentencing. For example it identifies what might constitute a mitigating or aggravating circumstance. However, it is left to the exercise of judicial discretion as to how much weight should be given to such circumstances. Mandatory sentencing takes away the exercise of judicial discretion. The court has no choice but to impose the legislated sentence. Amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW), have prescribed minimum non-parole periods for specific offences, such as ten years for aggravated sexual assault. The provision of statutory and judicial guidelines means that limits are placed on a judge’s discretion when sentencing, and this ensures sentencing consistency. However, some people feel that judges still have too much discretion when sentencing, and that some sentences are too lenient. Link

Under Section 3A of Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) the punishment a court imposes upon an accused is advised by differing punishment objectives of retribution, incapacitation, rehabilitation and deterrence. Under Section 5, custodial sentences should be seen as a ‘last resort’. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the judiciary must demonstrate...
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