The Law Commission are consulting on elements of the new Sentencing Code relating to children.
The Law Commission have been working to produce a Sentencing Code for the last 3 years. It is envisaged that the Code will bring together the different areas of sentencing procedure, in order to bring clarity and coherence to a complicated and antiquated system. A draft Bill containing the draft code was published in July 2017.
Due to the fact that the Charlie Taylor Review of the Youth Justice System was on-going while the majority of the Bill was drafted, it did not include some youth justice specific disposals.
Now that the Charlie Taylor Review is published, the Law Commission are consulting on the provisions which were excluded from the draft bill (on the basis that they may need to be amended pending the outcome of the review). This consultation process will close on 27 April 2018 and a report and final Bill will be published in Summer 2018.
It is intended that the code will:
- Simplify sentencing and remove the need to refer to historic legislation
- Avoid unnecessary appeals and therefore saving money and avoiding delay
- Make the law more accessible
The engagement of children in the sentencing process is widely acknowledged to be a factor in the prevention of re-offending and from that perspective the simplification and increased accessibility of the proposed regime is to be welcomed.