Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

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


New spotlights released: Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts

Two new Sentencing Spotlights on…offence and sentencing trends have been released, providing statistical information about offences and penalty outcomes for sentencing events involving adult offenders finalised in Queensland courts over the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2017.

The Sentencing Spotlights show Queensland courts sentenced more than 750,000 offenders in the 12-year reporting period.

Reflecting their role dealing with more serious offences, higher courts were more likely to use custodial penalties (76.8% of sentences) compared to Magistrates Courts (15.1%). Across both higher and Magistrates Courts, within the custodial penalty options, imprisonment was ordered most often with intensive correction orders used by sentencing judges least often.

While the use of custodial penalties in Magistrates Courts was steady from 2005–06 to 2009–10, it has since almost doubled from 10 per cent of all penalties in 2010–11, to 19 per cent in 2016–17.

View the Sentencing Spotlights on offence and sentencing trends


Seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel members

We’re seeking members for our new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel.

The advisory panel will support our commitment to understanding and addressing the drivers of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the state’s criminal justice system.

Expressions of interest are being sought from people that have a deep understanding of the criminal justice system, provide advice or advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and have an interest in improving sentencing outcomes and impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Expressions of interest are open until 5pm on 29 August 2018.

Find out how to apply


Queensland’s first sentencing guide released

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has released the first Queensland Sentencing Guide — helping to demystify the sentencing process.

The guide is a free resource that explains how Queensland courts sentence adults found guilty of an offence. It covers:

  • how sentencing laws are made and the role and jurisdiction of different criminal courts in Queensland
  • the sentencing process and what guides judges and magistrates in deciding what sentence to impose
  • different penalty options.

The guide also includes a glossary to help simplify language commonly used in the sentencing process.

Download the guide [PDF 547KB]