9 September 2021
Miscellaneous amendments to sentencing guidelines
We have opened a consultation asking practitioners who use sentencing guidelines for their views on a series of proposed changes to existing guidelines.
The proposed changes are designed to bring greater clarity and consistency and reflect developments in legislation. They relate to:
- breach of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO): clarifying that it is not open to the court to vary the SHPO or make a fresh order of its own motion for breach;
- compensation: adding wording relating to giving reasons if compensation is not awarded in all relevant guidelines;
- confiscation: providing fuller information on confiscation in all relevant guidelines;
- racially or religiously aggravated offences: making the uplift for racial/ religious aggravation a separate step and consistent across guidelines for these offences; and
- domestic abuse overarching guideline: revising the definition of domestic abuse in the light of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and expanding it to include a wider range of relationships.
This consultation is the first of what the Council intends to be an annual exercise to consider potential changes to guidelines arising from various sources including case law, changes to legislation and feedback from sentencers.