Sentencing for child homicide

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this page may contain words, names and descriptions of people who have passed away.

The Council has reviewed sentencing for child homicide as requested by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Yvette D’Ath under Terms of Reference issued to the Council in October 2017.

In developing its final report and recommendations, the Attorney-General  asked the Council to:

  • consider and analyse penalties imposed on sentence for offences arising from the death of a child and report on current sentencing practices
  • determine whether the penalties currently imposed for these offences adequately reflect the particular vulnerabilities of these victims
  • identify any trends or anomalies that occur in such sentencing, for example, the nature of the criminal culpability which forms the basis of a manslaughter charge which may affect any sentence imposed
  • assess whether existing sentencing considerations are adequate for the purposes of sentencing these offenders and identify if specific additional legislative guidance is required
  • examine the approach in other Australian jurisdictions
  • identify and report on any legislative or other changes required to ensure the imposition of an appropriate sentence for these offences
  • identify ways to enhance community knowledge and understanding of the penalties imposed for these offences
  • consult with the community and other key stakeholders, and
  • advise on any other matters relevant to this reference.

As part of the review, the Council consulted with the public and other key stakeholders including the judiciary, legal profession, victim of crime groups, child protection advocacy groups and relevant government agencies.

Key dates

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The focus of this review and information on this website may be distressing to some people. If you need to talk to someone, support is available:

For information and assistance about child safety issues, please contact