Presentation recordings

Want to know more about sentencing? View these presentations for an in-depth discussion on various aspects of the sentencing process and sentencing matters in Queensland, Australia and across the globe.

Has our approach to drugs gone to pot?

The number of offenders being sentenced for drug use in Queensland is sharply rising.

What lies behind the statistics, and what is the future for drug law enforcement?

This Sentencing Seminar looked at the penalties given to people whose criminal activities are associated with personal or social drug use.

We looked at Queensland’s Drug and Alcohol Court, which is targeting the underlying causes behind offending and is providing an intensive response to adult offenders with severe drug and alcohol dependency.

We also heard how current research shows the reliance on threshold quantities for drug offences may be problematic and might lead to sentencing outcomes that are disproportionate to the offence committed.


Magistrate Annette Hennessy, Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court
Associate Professor Melissa Bull, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University
Professor Elena Marchetti, Deputy Chair, Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

Sentencing Seminar — 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?

Our seminar looked 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 gave 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, talking about intensive correction orders and community correction orders as alternatives to imprisonment.
Kate Petrie, Director, Policy and Legislation, Strategy and Governance, Queensland Corrective Services, talking about the court-ordered parole experience in Queensland from a corrections perspective.
John Robertson, Chair, Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

Sentencing Seminar — Let's talk about sexts: vulnerable victims or unwitting offenders?

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council · Sentencing Seminar — Let's talk about sexts: vulnerable victims or unwitting offenders?

Teens across Queensland who share explicit images using smartphones, social networks and game consoles may be committing an offence.

This could not only lead to cyberbullying but also a criminal record.

Over the last decade more than 1500 young people under 17 years of age have been cautioned or conferenced by Queensland Police for child exploitation material offences — the majority for sexting.

Our seminar discussed the issue of teen sexting from all sides: victims, perpetrators and the criminal justice system kicking off with the real-life story of a 15-year-old boy unwittingly caught up in sexting.

Our panel of experts provide insight into this type of incident, how it can be prevented and how, if left unaddressed, it can quickly escalate and hold significant consequences for young people.

Panel members

Helen Watkins, Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
Wayne Steinhardt, Queensland Police Service
Rob Priddey, Cybersafety Team, Department of Education
Prof Mark Kebbell, Griffith Criminology Institute

Justice in Focus — Soft on crime? How sentencing can better reflect community values

We teamed up with Caxton Legal Centre for their Justice in Focus seminar looking at community values around sentencing.

Recent research findings show that, in 62% of cases, jurors would issue more lenient sentences than judges when surveyed following a guilty verdict. Meanwhile, our Judge for Yourself community education project is successfully engaging Queenslanders on the topic of sentencing with some revealing results.

Our panel of experts talked about these insights and why public education projects are a key part of the access to justice equation.

Panel members

Professor Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania - lead author on the 2017 research paper ‘Measuring Jurors’ Views on Sentencing: Results from the Second Australian Jury Study’.
The Honorable Margaret McMurdo, AC - Margaret McMurdo is the former president of the Queensland Court of Appeal. She currently serves as the Chair of Legal Aid Queensland.
Dan Rogers - Dan Rogers is a solicitor and a member of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council as well as the Secretary of Caxton Legal Centre. He is also a Director at Robertson O'Gorman.

The event was recorded as part of ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas program.

Sentencing Seminar — The Criminal Justice Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

There’s no escaping the fact the criminal justice system is often seen as ineffective in responding to child sexual abuse cases.

Hear from the Chair of the Royal Commission, the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, as he discusses the Criminal Justice Report, released as part of the investigation.

The report contains 85 recommendations — all of which aim to reform the Australian criminal justice system to provide a fairer response to victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

Legislative and policy changes are also on the cards, including the addition of new offences and changes to police and prosecution responses.

Sentencing Seminar — What happened with Jake? Understanding why young people offend: can we build better responses?

Find out what happened with Jake through our panel discussion about the life trajectory of a fictitious young person who has been involved with the criminal justice system from a young age.

The hypothetical follows the journey of Jake — a young man with a troubled past — from birth to his emergence as a juvenile offender.

Panel members

Cheryl Leavy – Deputy Commissioner, Queensland Family and Child Commission
Leanne O’Shea – Deputy Chief Magistrate, Brisbane Childrens Court
Professor Elena Marchetti - A/Chair, Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
Professor Paul Mazerolle – Pro Vice Chancellor of Arts, Education and Law, Griffith University
Dr Stephen Stathis – Medical Director, Child and Youth Mental Health Service, Children’s Health Queensland
Dr Jim Watterston – Director General, Department of Education and Training
Cheryl Scanlon – Detective Superintendent, Operations Commander, Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group, Queensland Police Service

The panel discussed what happened in Jake’s life to lead him to where he is today, and what could have been done differently to help him make better life choices.

Sentencing Seminar — Shaping the sentencing agenda: The role of sentencing advisory councils in policy debate and development

Discover the importance of sentencing advisory councils in the criminal justice system and how their involvement helps to bridge the gap between the community, the courts and government.

The reality of modern politics is that sentencing policy is not always based on evidence: public opinion often demands change in sentencing policies that may be expensive, ineffective or counter-productive. Sentencing is an emotive issue.

The presentation with the chair of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council Professor Arie Freiberg covers why sentencing advisory councils were established, how they provide governments with independent policy advice, publish information about sentencing practices and assist with sentencing guidelines.

Sentencing Seminar — Evidence-based sentencing

Find out how former California Supreme Court Judge Peggy Hora’s work in the area of ‘problem solving courts’ has contributed to a new genre of justice — therapeutic jurisprudence.

Therapeutic jurisprudence focuses on providing practical interventions and solutions for people with complex social problems.

The presentation covers procedural fairness, judicial respect, behavioural change and sanctions for therapeutic consequences.