Presentation on theme: "Role of the Courts Court decides what sentence should be imposed on the offender. The Judge or magistrates decide on an appropriate punishment in each."— Presentation transcript:
Role of the Courts Court decides what sentence should be imposed on the offender. The Judge or magistrates decide on an appropriate punishment in each case. What restrictions are they subject to when deciding on a suitable sentence?
Aims of Sentencing The judge / magistrates will have to decide what they are trying to achieve by the punishment they give. For example, should they simply punish D for what he ’ s done, or should they try and alter his future behaviour?
Aims of Sentencing S.142 Criminal Justice Act 2003: The punishment of offenders The reduction of crime (inc. by deterrence) Reform and rehabilitation of offenders The protection of the public Reparation by offenders to those affected by the crime
Activity … Read the article and answer the questions on page 205 of “ OCR Law for AS ”.
Retribution “ An eye for an eye ….. ” Based on the idea of punishment because the offender deserves it. No attempt to alter D ’ s future behaviour. What types of sentences do you think achieve this aim?
Denunciation Society expressing its disapproval of criminal behaviour. Can influence society ’ s views on what is acceptable / unacceptable conduct. Examples: drink driving; enhanced sentencing for racist crime.
Incapacitation Offender is made incapable of re-offending. Can be a short-term solution, however, depending on the sentence. Think of some examples of sentences that reflect this aim of sentencing.
Deterrence Aimed at reducing future levels of crime. Individual – to deter D from re-offending. General- to deter other potential offenders from committing crimes. Idea is to give a harsh punishment, e.g. prison sentence or heavy fine.
What deters criminals? Being caught? A tough sentence? The reaction of family / friends? Theory assumes an offender will stop to consider consequences – but most crime is committed on the spur of the moment.
Rehabilitation Main aim is to reform the offender so that they do not re-offend in the future. Usually involves community sentences. Criticisms: Often discriminates against the underprivileged. Leads to inconsistency in sentencing.
Reparation Aimed at compensating the victim of the crime. Based on idea that criminals should pay compensation to their victims. S.130 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 says courts are under a duty to give reasons if they do not make a compensation order.
Activity … Read the article on page 212 of “ OCR Law for AS ” and answer the questions following it.
Sentencing Practice Before passing sentence, the court will consider: Any aggravating / mitigating factors Pre-sentence reports (Probation service) Any previous convictions Medical Reports Character Statements D ’ s financial / domestic circumstances
Pleading Guilty Reduction in sentence for a guilty plea. What reasons did the Sentencing Guidelines Council give for allowing reductions in sentences for guilty pleas? Do you agree with this concept?
Types of Sentence Draw a chart with 3 columns showing … 1) the different types of sentence available 2) an explanation of each sentence 3) the aims of each sentence
Custodial Sentences S.152 Criminal Justice Act 2003: Court must not pass a custodial sentence unless it is of the opinion that the offence was … “… so serious that neither a fine alone nor a community sentence can be justified ”.
Custodial Sentences Range from intermittent ( “ weekend ” ) prison to life imprisonment. Can be unfair on D ’ s family. Can be very difficult for D to re-integrate into society on release (job, housing etc.)
Community Sentences Criminal Justice Act 2003: Created one community order under which the court can combine any requirements it thinks are necessary. “ Mix and match ” approach to meet D ’ s needs
Community Sentences s.177 Criminal Justice Act 2003 includes: Unpaid work requirement Curfew requirement Exclusion requirement Supervision requirement Drug rehabilitation requirement
Fines Sum payable to the Crown – not compensation for the victim. Most common sentence in Magistrates ’ Court. “ Rich man, poor man ” problems. What happens if D cannot pay?
Discharges and other orders … Conditional discharge – often used for first time minor offenders. Absolute discharge Disqualification from driving Compensation order
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders Civil orders that can be imposed where a person has behaved in an anti-social manner. Breaking an ASBO is a criminal matter and the offender can then be sentenced for the breach.
Young Offenders At what age is a child criminally liable? Different sentences available for those under 18, under 16, under 14 and under 12. Main aim is reformation and rehabilitation