Providing a clear view of sentencing in Queensland

Media release

Monday, 16 December 2019

To help demystify the court system and sentencing process, the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has released a new edition of the Queensland Sentencing Guide to help people feel more informed and comfortable with the justice system.

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council Chair, John Robertson, said the new edition of the Guide has additional information on sentencing matters but remains a handy resource for people to turn to if they have a question about sentencing.

“Within the justice system we work with people every day who have little or no knowledge of the courts or sentencing and sometimes we can underestimate just how complex it can be for the community,” Mr Robertson said.

“The Guide explains how the Queensland courts operate, the different types of courts in Queensland, and how adults are sentenced when they have been found guilty of an offence.

“It also explains in simple language commonly used terms – such as appellant, parole and remand – that are thrown around in everyday life but not a lot of people actually understand what they mean.

The new edition of the Queensland Sentencing Guide has additional information, including a section dedicated to Commonwealth offences which include Centrelink fraud, terrorism and drug importation.

“It’s not a well-known fact that our State courts also hear cases and sentence people for Commonwealth offences,” Mr Robertson said.

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council developed the Guide with input from legal and justice agencies including the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Legal Aid Queensland, Queensland Corrective Services and the Queensland Law Society.

Mr Robertson said the Sentencing Guide is just one of the many education resources developed by the Council to help inform the community about sentencing.

“We know at times it can be difficult to understand why people receive the sentences they do.

“Our goal at the Council is to take these complex processes and break them down into straightforward language that anyone in Queensland can pick up and understand”.

The new edition of the Queensland Sentencing Guide (PDF, 8.5 MB) is available for free download.