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Council news

Published on:

16 December 2021

The Sentencing Council is providing a new tool for judges sentencing in the Crown Court. SentencingACE allows judges to make a quick, ready-reckoner style check of the sentence they intend to impose and to confirm that all the elements of their sentence are correct in law.

The tool, which was developed by a High Court judge and has been tested by Crown Court judges, covers more than 800 offences, including the most-commonly sentenced. It is designed to provide support to sentencers and to defence and prosecution practitioners, who have a duty to draw the court’s attention to all relevant sentencing issues.

Available from today via the Sentencing Council website, SentencingACE does not have the same status as sentencing guidelines. It is not a decision-making tool and its use by judges is entirely voluntary.

Launching SentencingACE, Chairman Lord Justice Holroyde said:

“Sentencing is a complex procedure, and sentencers must bear in mind a great many matters. SentencingACE will allow Crown Court judges to confirm quickly and easily that the sentence they have decided upon is lawful in all respects.

“SentencingACE should reduce the number of appeals that stem from technical sentencing errors. And, by allowing the Court of Appeal to deal more efficiently with other, more complex cases, this new tool will help to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system.”