Sentencing councils and victims

Author(s) Edwards, Ian
Title Sentencing councils and victims
Source The Modern Law Review,May 2012, Vol. 75, Issue. 3, pp 324-346
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Summary This article explores the role of the victim in Sentencing Councils in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, with a particular examination of the Sentencing Council of England and Wales which was established by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The rising influence of victims on criminal justice policy and the impact of this on the work of sentencing councils is discussed. The sentencing councils' enabling legislations frequently describe a role for victims in the councils as members but victims rarely feature in the aims and purposes of the councils. An important role for victims in sentencing councils is as information providers where they can provide an insight into the experiences of those affected by the crime. The author critically examines the new obligation for the English Sentencing Council to have regard to the impact of sentencing decisions on victims of crime and how this can be interpreted. In conclusion the author questions the principal aims of the sentencing councils and whether victims are needed to achieve those aims and whether victims' interests can be protected and acknowledged while also achieving the principal aims.
Keywords Sentencing; guidelines; criminal justice; sentencing council; sentencing commission
Topic Victims needs