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Sentencing - Question Papers 8-12 (2012)                


We released for public comment the final five question papers relating to the review of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) in late 2012.

These papers addressed greater flexibility in combining sentencing options, schemes for diversion and deferral of sentencing, ancillary orders, special categories of offenders, and jurisdictional and procedural aspects.

Question Paper 8: The structure and hierarchy of sentencing options  - addressed the broad question of the structure and hierarchy of sentencing options that may be imposed by the courts. We asked a series of questions to determine whether:

  • legislation should specify a hierarchy of sentences;
  • the structure of sentences should be made more flexible; and
  • there should be any restrictions on the combination of sentences that are allowed.

Question Paper 9: Alternative approaches to criminal offending  - considered ways in which offenders or suspects can be dealt with without entering the court system, or if they do, how the courts may divert or defer finalising their matters with a view to aiding their rehabilitation and achieving positive outcomes for the community and victims.

Question Paper 10: Ancillary orders  - considered the orders that are ancillary to sentencing:

  • compensation orders;
  • driver licence disqualification; and
  • non-association and place restriction orders,

and asked whether they are currently effective and whether any changes need to be made to integrate them more fully into the structure of sentencing.

Question Paper 11: Special categories of offenders  - considered the issues relating to some groups of offenders which may require special consideration either because they are overrepresented in the criminal justice system or because particular sentences affect members of these groups differently when compared with other offenders:

  • indigenous offenders;
  • offenders with cognitive and mental health impairments;
  • women; and
  • corporations.

Question Paper 12: Procedural and jurisdictional aspects  - dealt with procedural and jurisdictional aspects of sentencing, looking particularly at innovations that could be adopted to simplify the operation of the law and enhance the transparency and consistency of decision-making. We also looked at how technology could be used to make the courts more efficient and accessible.

For ease of reference, we have extracted the questions from each question paper into a separate document - Consultation Papers 8-12: Consolidated questions.