The Benefits Of Mandatory Sentencing

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The Australian criminal law has not been viewed as culturally neutral in its treatment of indigenous Australians in the past, and, as is evident through mandatory sentencing laws in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, continues to be racially biased, discriminatory and disproportionately strict in its treatment of Aboriginal Australians. OBJECTIVES OF THE CRIMINAL LAW The ultimate object of criminal law is to protect the community from crime. But there are many other relevant considerations. Community protection is a primary consideration in sentencing , but it will be weighed against the personal characteristics and circumstances of the offence and the offender . The common law does not sanction arbitrary detention. It requires…show more content…
The result is to remove some or all of the traditional discretion of judges to determine what sentence should be imposed on the offender. The concept of mandatory sentencing is not new: in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, there were a number of offences for which parliaments in England and New South Wales set a predetermined sentence. During the course of the nineteenth century, however, mandatory sentences were abandoned in favour of greater judicial discretion, with parliaments only setting the maximum penalty. Mandatory sentencing can be applied across a broad range of offences, as is the case with the sentencing grids in a number of US States, or it can be targeted at particular categories of offences. The arguments that are generally put forward in favour of mandatory sentencing include: • deterrence: increasing the certainty and toughness of sentences may have a greater deterrent effect on the individual offenders subject to mandatory sentencing, or on other potential offenders. • incapacitation: ensuring that repeat offenders receive substantial terms of imprisonment may reduce crime by preventing those offenders being at liberty to commit further crimes. • retribution: mandatory sentences express the democratically elected legislature’s view of the seriousness of the criminal conduct, and…show more content…
Roche, D, Mandatory Sentencing, (Canberra: Institute of Criminology, 1999) In this text the evidence for and against mandatory sentencing is examined. The main claims made are by advocates of mandatory sentencing claiming that it prevents crime, it provides consistency in sentencing, and is a democratic response to widespread public concern about crime. Roche questions, however, whether the costs involved justify the small decrease that may be achieved. 5. Australia, Parliament, Senate, Legal and Constitutional Reference Committee, Inquiry into the Human Rights (Mandatory Sentencing for Property Offences) Bill 2000, 2000, Parl Paper. This paper presented me with statistics regarding the incarceration of juvenile indigenous Australian. It aided me in assessing the overall discrepancy between the indigenous and non-indigenous population in our jail system. It also provided significant opinion on human rights and gave a few case studies associated with juvenile mandatory sentencing. The nature of this report, that being formal and official, was consistent with other arguments put forward by independent writers, displaying no discrepancy between the government inquiries and the independent

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