Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council releases annual report
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council 2017–18 Annual Report has been tabled in Parliament.
The report details the Council’s activities in the 2017-18 financial year to inform, engage and advise Queenslanders about sentencing matters.
Reported activities include:
- publishing the final report into the Classification of Child Exploitation Material for Sentencing Purposes in July, making 16 recommendations to enhance Queensland’s leading role in tackling child exploitation material offending
- delivering a research project considering community engagement in rural communities, and releasing the first Queensland Sentencing Guide — aimed at demystifying the sentencing process.
- engaging with more than 17,000 people through the interactive online Judge for Yourself program, developing a range of teaching and community resources including three Sentencing Spotlights, and hosting three sentencing seminars, seven Sentencing Matters podcasts and two research to practice forums.
During the reporting year, the Council received two new Terms of Reference from the Attorney-General in October 2017, to review:
- penalties imposed on sentence for criminal offences arising from the death of a child (child homicide offences) — the Council called for public submissions, consulted with national and international criminal justice experts, held focus groups and victims of crime roundtables, and analysed sentencing outcomes, legal policy and legislative outcomes. The final report was delivered to the Attorney-General in October 2018, and released publicly in November 2018.
- community-based sentencing orders, imprisonment and parole options — the Council considered recommendations from existing reviews, began dialogue with national and international legal professionals, undertook a cross-jurisdictional analysis of available sentencing orders and identified key research and data requirements.
The Attorney-General appointed a new Chair of the Council, John Robertson, following his retirement as a Judge from the District Court, and four new members – Waka Waka man Bevan Costello, Jo Bryant (CEO of Protect All Children Today), Crown Prosecutor Vicki Loury QC, and Detective Chief Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon (Crime and Corruption Commission).
Michael Cowen QC and Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford resigned from the Council; their critical involvement and advice in responding to the Terms of Reference reviews is gratefully acknowledged.
Chair John Robertson says the Council plays a crucial role in providing information that explains the complex process of how sentencing operates in the criminal justice system.
“An independent council of this kind is essential, particularly given the increasing public interest in sentencing and the role of judges and magistrates in the sentencing process,” Mr Robertson said.
“Whether it’s providing policy advice on sentencing matters, analysing court data for specific offences or holding community workshops, the Council has worked tirelessly to deliver on its functions to inform, engage and advise this financial year,” he said.
Media enquiries: Kirsten MacGregor 07 3224 7374