Aims and accountability
The Council was established in October 2015 as an independent, advisory body as a result of the
Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010
What We Do
We carry out a range of work concerning sentencing in Scotland.
Our responsibilities include:
- preparing sentencing guidelines for the courts
- publishing guideline judgments issued by the courts
- publishing information about sentences handed down by the courts.
We can also conduct research, and provide general advice or guidance. We do not deal with individual sentences, which are a matter for the presiding judge in court.
Accountability and reporting
Every three years, we prepare a Business Plan for the Scottish Ministers. We consult the Scottish Ministers, the Lord Advocate (head of the prosecution service) and the Lord Justice General (head of the High Court). We also take others' views into account.
Each year, we prepare an Annual Report on our activities for the Ministers. These two reports are laid before the Scottish Parliament.
How we spend our money
Our Business Plan outlines how we plan to spend our budget in the future and our Annual Report details how we have spent it so far.
Information on our procurement of goods and services is also published.
We are subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, and have produced a Guide to Information based on the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme. The Guide provides more details on: the information we publish, how to find that information, how to request new information, and any charges for producing information.