Consultation on the law on unduly lenient sentences

Consultation opened on 03 February 2015. Closing date 08 May 2015.


Recently there have been calls for the Department of Justice to review existing laws that allow certain sentences to be referred to the Court of Appeal if they are considered to be “unduly lenient”; including cases involving animal cruelty; offences around certain types of environmental crime; and offences against elderly or vulnerable people.


Consultation description

Calls have come from a range of sources: from victims who might feel that the punishment does not fit the crime; from elected representatives in support of victims; and from legal experts who feel that it can be the structure of the law governing appeal mechanisms that can in itself frustrate the judicial process. There appear to
be increasing and varied understandings of “unduly lenient”.
Recently, the Department responded to particular calls for the ability to appeal sentences in the fraudulent evasion of duty by way of fuel and tobacco smuggling.
Neither offence could be referred to the Court of Appeal for review in cases where the sentence seemed, to some, to be light. With public, Assembly, and legal support in 2013 the Department added these to the list of offences that could be referred for

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