You be the Judge

October 7, 2011

In the course of dealing with many of our Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) clients, a common and recurring theme is that of whether the guilty criminal offender has been justly dealt with by the court in terms of the sentence handed down. The traditional measure of whether we have a good criminal law system is when justice is “seen to be done.” The traditional principles of sentencing are – punishment, deterrent (both specific to the offender and society in general), rehabilitation, and protection of the public from harm and further offences. Imprisonment has traditionally been seen as the “last resort” of sentencing, and to be of a term only long enough to achieve the above principles.

Various courts and jurisdictions have a very wide range of options of sentencing, once an offender is found to be guilty, either by admission or proof by a court or jury. Sentencing options across the jurisdictions include diversions, good behaviour bonds, Community-based orders, Intensive Correction orders, payment of fines, payment or Compensation and Restitution Orders to the victim, home detention, weekend detention, detention at a Youth facility or imprisonment (often for a minimum period before being eligible for parole).

Which sentencing option or options should the court choose? Here is an opportunity for you to be the judge. Please see flyer below for further details of an interactive workshop on Thursday 20th October between 2 and 4pm. Bookings are essential – phone 9294-5745.

You be the Judge

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