The first update to Australian Sentencing highlights the rapidly changing and evolving nature of sentencing law and practice and the large degree of convergence of principles that apply to sentencing in all Australian jurisdictions.
Since the release of the Service, less than three months ago there have been several hundred sentencing judgments handed down by the High Court and appeal courts throughout Australia. More than 50 of these decisions are significant in that they either change existing sentencing law and practice or qualify it or elaborate on previously unclear areas. All of these 50-plus judgments are discussed in the first update.
Seminal cases include:
- Green v The Queen; Quinn v The Queen  HCA 49 where the High Court took a broad view of the parity doctrine;
- Muldrock v The Queen  HCA 39 in which the High Court overturned the approach to setting parole period periods for offences which have standard non-parole terms. This approach had been established in the decision of R v Way  NSWCCA 131 and hence stood unchallenged for seven years;
- R v Marien  SASCFC 116 the Court discussed tariffs for child sex offences;
- R v Matauaina  QCA 344 where the Queensland Court of Appeal undertook a detailed assessment of the tariff for thefts from an employer;
- H A T v The Queen  VSCA, in which the Victorian Court of Appeal discusses the relevance of confiscation orders, and in particular automatic forfeiture, to sentencing. The Court in this case also examines the circumstances in which cultural background can be a mitigating consideration;
- Castres v The Queen; Kent v The Queen  VSCA 377, in which the aggravating nature of the prison context to assaults is examined at length.
Click here for more information on Australian Sentencing.