Coercive Control as Mitigation at Sentencing

By Professor Vanessa Bettinson Read the full paper here: Coercive Control as Mitigation at Sentencing Executive Summary: • Coercive control is a recognised form of domestic abuse under section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and it is a criminal offence to engage in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship […]

Sentencing Data and Policy online event

Unfortunately, due to the upcoming General Election, the originally-planned event on 25 June 2024, outlined below, has had to be postponed. An alternative online-only data and policy event will now take place on the same date, and this will provide a comparative perspective between the United States and the United Kingdom. One confirmed speaker is […]

The Techno-Judiciary: Sentencing in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

By Harry Grindle In the era of artificial-intelligence (AI), algorithmic technologies are everywhere. AI’s emergence into the field of law has been rapid and there is no doubt that machine learning algorithms have begun to influence sentencing decisions in England and Wales. Computer assisted sentencing is already in the courtroom, offering informational aids to assist […]

Sentencing for Murder: A Review of Policy and Practice

By Dr Richard Martin Read the full paper here: Sentencing for Murder – A Review of Policy and Practice Executive Summary: • The only sentence a court can pass for murder is life imprisonment. The mandatory life sentence is comprised of three elements: the minimum term spent in prison (handed down by the sentencing court); […]

Kalisher Trust internship paper

We are pleased to publish the paper produced by Lewis Hazeldine during the course of his Kalisher Trust internship with the Sentencing Academy. Lewis chose to explore some of the issues that can arise in relation to Extended Determinate Sentences. Lewis’s paper, Extended Determinate Sentences: A Review of the Practical Issues, is available here.

Seeing and Treating Neurodiverse Individuals in the Criminal Justice System

Gavin Dingwall, Head of Policy and Communications, represented the Sentencing Academy in a panel discussion with Professor Penney Lewis, the Law Commissioner, and Lauren Costello, Deputy Chief Prosecutor in the Northeast of England, at an international symposium on ‘Seeing and Treating Neurodiverse Individuals in the Criminal Justice System’ held on 14 March and hosted by […]

Mental Health and Sentencing Seminar

The Sentencing Academy was pleased to collaborate with the University of York to hold a ‘Mental Health and Sentencing’ event on 6 March 2024. Addressing the theme of the day, there were three  speakers covering different areas of the mental health and sentencing field, followed by an insight Q&A session chaired by Professor Adam Crawford, […]

How distinctive is Scotland’s new approach to sentencing guidelines?

By Dr Jay Gormley and Professor Julian V. Roberts   The new causing death by driving offences guideline is the first offence-specific guidance issued by the Scottish Sentencing Council. It is certainly a distinctive moment for the UK jurisdiction, which has its own unique criminal justice system and legal and cultural history. But how unique […]

Victim Personal Statements: A Review of Recent Research and Developments

By Freya Rock Read the full report here: Victim Personal Statements: A Review of Recent Research and Developments Executive Summary: A Victim Personal Statement (VPS) is submitted by the victim of a crime to the sentencing court to document the physical, emotional, financial, or other impact of the crime. Victim impact statements have become a […]

Colin Pitchfork and the Complexity of Parole

It has been reported that an application for reconsideration of a Parole Board decision not to release Colin Pitchfork has been successful. This does not mean that Pitchfork will automatically be released from custody. Rather, it means that his case will be considered again by a new panel. This blog post details the chronology of […]

Mandatory minimum sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences apply to certain types of offending, categorised either solely by its type or by a combination of that and the offender’s previous record. In most cases, the court can depart from the mandatory minimum if a certain test is met. Until recently, the most common test for this was whether imposing the […]

Criminal Justice Bill and Sentencing Bill

Two pieces of legislation currently going through Parliament will make changes to sentencing practice and procedure in England and Wales: the Criminal Justice Bill and the Sentencing Bill. Proposed changes include the creation of a new offence of failing to attend a sentencing hearing, a presumption against the imposition of immediate custodial sentences of 12 […]