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Sentencing review 2016-2017
This year’s sentencing review focuses on two issues: the recent decisions of the High Court and reforms to legislative and policy in respect of sentencing sex offenders, especially offences involving children. Although they were identified as discrete issues, there is in fact significant overlap. In the first case discussed, R v Kilic, the High Court commented on changes in sentencing practices in relation to sexual offences, while DPP (Vic) v Dalgliesh (Pseudonym) and Chiro v The Queen involved child sexual offences. The case of Knight v Victoria does not pertain to sexual offending but reflects the theme underlying many of the reforms discussed in the latter part of this review, namely, an overriding concern with risk.
The second part of this review details the extensive recent reforms which affect the sentencing of sex offenders. It commences with a summary of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2017 (Cth), which is currently being considered by the Commonwealth Parliament. The review then details recent reforms in relation to the creation of new sex offences and specific changes to sentencing laws, including increases to legislative maximum penalties, restricting courts’ discretion to set the head sentence and/or non-parole period or impose a non-custodial penalty and changes to the factors courts are to take into account on sentencing. Other initiatives, including the proposal to establish restorative justice conferencing for sex offences in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), are also considered.
Publication titleCriminal Law Journal
Department/SchoolFaculty of Law
Place of publicationAustralia