English Law Commission Consultation on New Sentencing Code
On July 1, 2015, the law Commission of England launched its first consultation in its project to come up with a new sentencing code for England and Wales:
"The law on sentencing affects all criminal cases, and is applied in hundreds of thousands of trials and at thousands of appeals each year. But it lacks coherence and clarity: it is spread across many statutes, and frequent updates are brought into force at different times by different statutory instruments and have a variety of transitional arrangements."The consultation paper is available on the Law Commission website.
"Our aim in this project is to introduce a single sentencing statute that will act as the first and only port of call for sentencing tribunals. It will set out the relevant provisions in a clear and logical way, and ensure that all updates to sentencing procedure can be found in a single place. It is not the aim of this project to interfere with mandatory minimum sentences or with sentencing tariffs in general. Those will remain entirely untouched, but the process by which they come to be imposed will be streamlined and much improved."
"This first paper is about the process of transition to the Code. While a seemingly technical issue, it is in fact vital to the success of the Code: we think that to maximise its impact the new Code should apply to everyone being sentenced after its implementation. We want to avoid judges being forced to continue to use the complex existing procedural regimes for months if not years to come. In this paper, we explain why sweeping away the vast bulk of the historic sentencing procedure will cause no unfairness to the defendant, nor will it involve any breach of human rights obligations, as long as certain basic safeguards are observed."