Section 21 of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) requires that an agency, other than an excluded entity, must publish a publication scheme setting out the classes of information that it has available and the terms on which it will make the information available, including any charges.
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s publication scheme details information we routinely make available to the public. It has been developed to give the community greater access to information.
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) provides independent research and advice, seeks public views and promotes community understanding of sentencing matters.
The Council comprises up to 12 independent members appointed by the Governor in Council on recommendation by the Attorney-General. As outlined in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 at least one member of the Council must be an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander and all members must have expertise or experience relevant to the functions of the Council.
The Council provides the following services:
Advice to the Attorney-General about sentencing in Queensland, if asked
Since November 2016, the Attorney-General has sought advice on the following topics:
- Classification of child exploitation material for sentencing purposes
- Sentencing for child homicide offences
- Intermediate sentencing options and parole
- Penalties for assaults on public officers
Advice to the Court of Appeal about the giving or reviewing of a guideline judgment, if asked
Under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 the Court of Appeal has the power to give or review a guideline judgment.
If the Court requests, the Council can provide its views to the Court of Appeal if it decides to exercise this power.
To date, the Court of Appeal has not issued any guideline judgments.
Provision of information to the community to enhance knowledge and understanding of matters relating to sentencing
Information about sentencing is available on this website.
An interactive online program entitled Judge for Yourself can be access from the Council’s website, which provides information about the sentencing process in the form of three interactive court cases based on sentencing matters that have been heard in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts in Queensland.
The Council provides free, facilitated Judge for Yourself sessions to Queensland students and community members within a two-hour drive of Brisbane.
The Council also offers a video series called Doing Justice Differently that focuses on the operation of the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court and other specialist magistrates courts.
The Council has published the Queensland Sentencing Guide to explain the sentencing process, and the Court reporting guide for journalists to assist media representatives in their reporting of court matters and sentencing.
The Council publishes a Sentencing Matters podcast series, providing the opportunity to hear from national and international speakers on sentencing and related topics.
A series of teaching resources are also available on the Council’s website for senior legal studies teachers to assist them to deliver curriculum about sentencing.
Research and publications about sentencing matters
The Council issues a Sentencing Spotlight series which provides statistical information about sentencing for different offences in Queensland.
Periodically, the Council also compiles a single-page document on sentencing for topical offences – Sentencing @ a glance – which provides a snapshot of key sentencing statistics.
A summary of QSAC’s annual financial information is published as part of our annual report. More detail about QSAC’s financial position can be found in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General annual report.
Our strategic plan sets out our strategic goals, key activities for achieving our goals, and key performance targets.
The Chair of the Council presides over monthly meetings where each member of the Council has a vote on each question to be decided at the meeting. If the Chair is not available to attend the meeting, it is convened by the Deputy Chair, or if neither are available, by a member of the Council chosen by the members present.
All questions are decided by a majority of members present at the meeting, and if there is an equal number of votes at a meeting, the meeting convenor will case a deciding vote. Members may abstain from voting.
Meetings are minuted, and Council decisions recorded.
We have a number of rules, policies and guidelines that govern the way we work:
You have the right to lodge a complaint if information in our publication scheme is not available.
We will manage complaints in accordance with our Complaint management policy. This policy also allows for anonymous complaints.
Any personal information you provide when making a complaint, including email addresses, will be collected for addressing your complaint about the publication scheme. This is in accordance with the Ministerial Guidelines under the Right to Information Act 2009.