The New South Wales Sentencing Council is a body established by the New South Wales Government to provide guidelines and to promote consistency in sentencing of offenders in New South Wales, a state of Australia. The council provides advice and counsel to the New South Wales Attorney General on issues relating to sentencing, parole periods for sentences, trends, and the operation of parole. The council aims to promote consistency and transparency in sentencing and promoting public understanding of the sentencing process. The Sentencing Council consists of members appointed by the attorney general. Those members are made up from a diverse background to better represent the views of the community. They include retired judges, law enforcement officers, defence lawyers, indigenous community members and persons associated with victims of crime.
The council provides similar functions to other bodies in New South Wales and in Australia. For example, it may advocate law reform which overlaps the work of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, or it may analyse statistics which overlaps the work of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, it differs fundamentally from other legal bodies in that it provides guidance and advice to government in that its focus is primarily criminal, and includes members who have direct and relevant experience with the criminal justice system.
The council was the first of its type established in Australia. A similar body has been established in Victoria which is called the Victorian Sentencing Council. Outside of Australia, overseas council perform similar functions. The United States Sentencing Commission in the United States of America and the United Kingdom Sentencing Guidelines Council in the United Kingdom are examples of bodies which consist primarily of judicial members, giving those bodies a judicial flavour. In contrast, the Scottish Sentencing Commission in Scotland is made up of parliamentarians, giving it a political flavour. The New South Wales council attempts to balance each of these flavours by including a cross-section of the community within the council.
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... One of the functions of the council is to make reports specific to sentencing ... Since the commencement of the council, the council has made numerous reports to the attorney general ... the following reports to be made public and they are available on the council’s website Sentencing Trends and Practices 2005-2006 Abolishing Prison Sentences of Six Months or Less Whether Attempt ...
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