Principles and purposes of sentencing guideline
As a first step in its work to develop sentencing guidelines, the Council decided to prepare a guideline on the general principles and purposes of sentencing.
Although some guidance on appropriate sentences in particular cases is available, in the form of court decisions, the fundamental principles and purposes of sentencing in Scotland have not been expressly defined in any single piece of legislation or court judgment.
We believe that a sentencing guideline which clearly sets out both the principles underlying sentencing decisions and the overarching purposes of sentencing will bring significant benefits both to the public and to the courts.
In particular, the guideline is intended to:
- provide judges and the public with a clear statement about the aims of current sentencing practice in the Scottish courts
- increase transparency by providing the public with an understanding of the approach taken by judges when deciding sentences
- promote consistency in the approaches taken by judges to sentencing
The guideline was approved by the High Court of Justiciary on Tuesday 30 October and will apply to sentencing for all offences from Monday 26 November.