9 September 2021
Miscellaneous amendments to sentencing guidelines: Consultation
A consultation paper on miscellaneous amendments to sentencing guidelines. Closed 2 December 2021.
The Sentencing Council issued a consultation on proposed amendments across several existing guidelines.
What was this consultation about?
The Sentencing Council has been in existence for over ten years and has built up a large body of sentencing guidelines that are in use in courts throughout England and Wales. There are inevitably issues that arise with existing guidelines over time and the Council has decided to hold an annual consultation on miscellaneous amendments to guidelines.
This is the first of these annual consultations in which the Council seeks the views of guideline users to proposals to make amendments to existing guidelines.
The proposals have come from various sources including case law, changes to legislation, feedback from sentencers and journal articles. The Council welcomes suggestions for changes to be included in future consultations and a feedback mechanism is being introduced into guidelines to make this easier.
Which offences and guidelines are covered?
The proposals can be summarised as follows:
- Breach of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO): Adding a note to this guideline to make clear 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 in the criminal damage (under £5,000) and criminal damage (over £5,000); section 4, section 4A and section 5 Public Order Act offences; harassment/ stalking and harassment/ stalking (with fear of violence) guidelines.
- 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.