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1 December 2020

The Sentencing Code comes into effect today in England and Wales, consolidating existing sentencing procedure law into a single Act. Chairman Lord Justice Holroyde said:

“The Sentencing Code is an important development for criminal justice, and one that is very much to be welcomed.

“When sentencing offenders, judges have in recent years had to contend with hundreds of pages of law, some written in language that is outdated and some difficult to access. The Code is designed to simplify and clarify the law and will contribute greatly to providing a sentencing procedure that is both accessible and coherent. It will bring greater clarity and certainty for sentencers and all users of the criminal justice system and, by helping to make sentencing more transparent for the wider public, it will do much to further the criminal justice system’s shared aim of improving public confidence.”

To enable sentencers and practitioners to follow the Code with immediate effect, the Council has updated all sentencing guidelines and related explanatory materials to reflect the new provisions.