The Sentencing (Pre-consolidation Amendment) Bill has been re-introduced into Parliament. The Bill was originally introduced in May 2019 but the Bill’s passage was halted by the 2019 general election.
This short technical Bill is necessary to pave the way for the main Sentencing Code Bill to be introduced as a consolidation Bill. Once passed, the Sentencing Code will introduce a “clean sweep” of the old sentencing law so that anyone convicted once the Code is in force would automatically be sentenced under the current law.
This would apply for every offence no matter when it was committed, with limited and partial exceptions where applying the current law would expose a person to a penalty greater than the punishment available at the time the offence took place.
The Sentencing Code would simplify the law of sentencing procedure and bring it into one statute, whilst also removing unnecessary provisions and updating the language. The changes will reduce delays by making the sentencing process easier, simpler and clearer.
The Ministry of Justice has also provided an interim response to the Law Commission’s Sentencing Code report. This can be read here.