Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council releases inaugural annual report

Media release

12 October 2017

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has released its inaugural annual report, following its reinstatement in 2016.

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

During its first seven months of operation the Council, which comprises up to 12 independent members:

  • delivered a report to the Attorney-General on the classification of child exploitation material for sentencing purposes
  • launched an interactive website Judge for Yourself enabling the community to walk in the shoes of a judge or magistrate to sentence offenders in real-life court cases
  • hosted two Sentencing Seminars: Evidence-based sentencing; and Shaping the sentencing agenda
  • released three Sentencing Spotlights looking at the offences of murder, manslaughter and child exploitation material
  • launched the Sentencing Matters podcast series releasing three episodes
  • established the National Sentencing Network providing a discussion forum for professional practitioners and academics across Australia concerned with sentencing issues
  • established data agreements with Queensland Police Service, Queensland Courts and Queensland Corrective Services
  • launched the Council’s website
  • held two internal Research to Practice forums
  • published a three-year strategic plan.

Acting Council Chair Professor Elena Marchetti said: “The Council is proud of its achievements for the first part-year in its establishment.

“Not only have we managed to deliver on our first terms of reference from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice on the classification of child exploitation material for sentencing purposes, but we have also delivered a broad range of initiatives to give life to the Council’s functions under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992.”

Fulfilling its role to inform, engage and advise on sentencing matters, the Council met with key stakeholders and community members across the state to start the conversation about sentencing in Queensland.

Professor Marchetti added: “This is not just a one-way conversation — it is an opportunity to enter a dialogue with people, provide information about sentencing and how it is done, raise awareness about the complexity and challenges our judicial officers face, and listen to the very broad views of the community about different aspects of the criminal justice system.”

The Council will continue that dialogue as it enters its second year of operation.