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Article

Time for a Code: Reform of Sentencing Law in England and Wales

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2017
Keywords Law Commission, codification, consolidation, consultation, criminal procedure
Authors Harry O’Sullivan and David Ormerod
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Law Commission of England and Wales is currently working to produce a New Sentencing Code that will seek to remedy problems with one of the most heavily used and unsatisfactory areas of statutory law. It responds to the problems of complexity and inaccessibility in the current sentencing legislation, and more fundamentally in the process by which sentencing legislation is created and implemented. The aim is to introduce the new Code as a consolidation Bill in 2018 with a view to it being in force from early 2019. This article provides an overview of the problems endemic to the current law and how the Commission envisages that the new Sentencing Code will provide not only a remedy, but a lasting one.
    It is important to understand from the outset that the scope of the Commission’s work on sentencing is to reform procedure. The project and the resulting legislation will not alter the length or level of sentence imposed in any case. The penalties available to the court in relation to an offence are not within the scope of the project and will not change. The change will be in the process by which each sentence is arrived at.


Harry O’Sullivan
Harry O’Sullivan is a pupil at Goldsmith Chambers and was formerly a research assistant at the Law Commission.

David Ormerod
Professor David Ormerod QC is the Criminal Law Commissioner.
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