Call for submissions — sentencing for child homicide offences

Media release

17 May 2018

We are seeking community and stakeholder views on sentencing for child homicide offences following the release of our Sentencing for criminal offences arising from the death of a child: Consultation paper.

The Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath asked us to carry out a 12-month review, which includes looking at current sentences imposed for child homicide offences, whether sentencing considerations are adequate, and ways to communicate with the community about sentencing for these offences.

Acting Council Chair Professor Elena Marchetti said: “The death of a child, in any circumstances, is tragic. Where a child dies as result of assault or neglect, the impacts are not only felt by the child's immediate family and friends, but by the entire community.

“This consultation is an opportunity for community members and stakeholders to share their views on these important issues and will inform the Council’s final advice to the Attorney-General.

The consultation paper contains:

  • an overview of the child homicide offences in Queensland, including sentencing data on sentencing outcomes for these offences from the past 12 years
  • a discussion of the sentencing purposes and factors applied by Queensland courts and whether they are adequate for sentencing child homicide offenders
  • an examination of the sentencing challenges associated with child homicide
  • options for enhancing communication with the community understanding about sentencing for these offences.

Professor Marchetti added: “We’re inviting people to submit their views on the seven key issues discussed in the consultation paper, including how best to reflect the particular vulnerabilities of child victims in sentencing, the most important purposes and factors in sentencing in these cases and potential sentencing reforms.”

As part of this review, we are also running face-to-face community engagement activities to generate discussion and inform community input.

The Council must report back to the Attorney-General by 31 October 2018.

Submissions are due 5pm, Tuesday 31 July 2018.