Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council provides independent research and advice, seeks public views and promotes community understanding of sentencing matters.


Infants most ‘at risk’ of child homicide

Children are less likely than adults to be the victim of homicide but are most ‘at risk’ in the first year of life, our latest research report reveals.

Child homicide in Queensland: A descriptive analysis of offences finalised by Queensland criminal courts has been published as part of our review into the sentencing of child homicide offences.

The report provides a descriptive analysis of the offence characteristics, victims, offenders and sentencing outcomes associated with child homicide offences finalised by Queensland criminal courts between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2017.

Key findings include:

  • 10 adults per 100,000 adult population were victims of homicide, compared to 5.7 children per 100,000 child population.
  • A child is at greatest risk of homicide in their first year of life (29.0% of the child homicides).
  • Offenders of child homicide are:
    • most likely to be family members, usually parents or parent equivalents (50% of offenders)
    • predominantly male (75.8%), but females represent a higher proportion of child homicide offenders (24.2%) than of adult homicide offenders (10.3%).
  • The most common cause of death for child homicide is striking (21.0%), while the most common cause of death for adult homicide is stabbing (34.5%).

The research report is part of a review the Council is doing into the sentencing of child homicide offences. Submissions close 31 July 2018.

Download the research report [PDF 1MB]

Consultation paper [PDF 2MB]

Make a submission


Registrations now open — Expanding the toolbox: sentencing reform across Australia

Is it time to rethink our sentencing options in Queensland?

Can we improve current community based sentencing orders, imprisonment and parole options to better respond to offending?

Expanding the toolbox: sentencing reform across Australia looks at intermediate sentencing options open to magistrates and judges in Australian jurisdictions and the impact of court-ordered parole in Queensland since its introduction in 2006.

Our experts give insight into the experience in Queensland and other Australian jurisdictions of reforming community based orders and parole.

  • Prof Lorana Bartels, Head, School of Law and Justice, University of Canberra, looking at intensive correction orders and community correction orders as alternatives to imprisonment
  • Kate Petrie, Director, Policy and Legislation, Strategy and Governance, Queensland Corrective Services, looking at the court-ordered parole experience in Queensland from a corrections perspective
  • Judge John Robertson (ret), Chair, Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, looking at the Council’s review of community based sentencing orders, imprisonment and parole options.

Date:    8 August 2018

Venue:  Supreme Court Library Conference Room, Level 12, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, 415 George St, Brisbane

Time:    4pm to 5.30pm (registration from 3.30pm)

Cost:    Free

Register now


Seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel members

We’re seeking members for our new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel.

The advisory panel will support our commitment to understanding and addressing the drivers of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the state’s criminal justice system.

Expressions of interest are being sought from people that have a deep understanding of the criminal justice system, provide advice or advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and have an interest in improving sentencing outcomes and impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Expressions of interest are open until 5pm on 15 August 2018.

Find out how to apply


Queensland’s first sentencing guide released

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has released the first Queensland Sentencing Guide — helping to demystify the sentencing process.

The guide is a free resource that explains how Queensland courts sentence adults found guilty of an offence. It covers:

  • how sentencing laws are made and the role and jurisdiction of different criminal courts in Queensland
  • the sentencing process and what guides judges and magistrates in deciding what sentence to impose
  • different penalty options.

The guide also includes a glossary to help simplify language commonly used in the sentencing process.

Download the guide [PDF 547KB]