SentencingACE is a tool designed for judges sentencing in the Crown Court. It allows judges, when they have decided what sentence they intend to impose, to check quickly and easily that all elements of that sentence – relating to the offence, the offender and the type and level of penalty – are lawful.
Use of SentencingACE is entirely voluntary for judges, unlike the sentencing guidelines, which the courts must follow unless doing so would be contrary to the interests of justice.
SentencingACE is also of value to prosecution and defence practitioners, who have a duty to the court to draw attention to all relevant sentencing issues. It will help them make sure their submissions are accurate and comprehensive and avoid technical sentencing errors.
The tool covers more than 800 offences, including those most commonly sentenced. Every effort is made to keep the information held in SentencingACE accurate and up to date, but ultimate responsibility lies with the judge to make sure that any sentence imposed is correct in law.
SentencingACE – which stands for “avoidance of common errors” – was conceived by a High Court judge and is designed to provide support to sentencers and practitioners in combination with the Council’s offence-specific and overarching sentencing guidelines, the Crown Court Compendium and the Sentencing Code.