Chapter

Courts, punishment and sentencing

David Faulkner and Ros Burnett

in Where Next For Criminal Justice?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428929
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305569 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428929.003.0006
Courts, punishment and sentencing

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This chapter focuses on the roles of the courts and the criminal law. It reflects on the nature of punishment and changing attitudes towards its use, and on the structure and purpose of sentencing. The chapter argues against an excessive reliance on criminal penalties and the arm of the law as the principal means of reducing crime; and it proposes the establishment of a clearer criteria for determining which actions and situations should be defined as new offences and for reviewing which current offences should continue to be defined as such. It also argues that legislation on sentencing should be simplified and indeterminate, and that mandatory sentences abolished as far as possible. The chapter continues with a section on the position of victims and witnesses, and concludes with a discussion on the role of restorative justice and the scope for its development.

Keywords: courts; punishment; sentencing; legislation; victims; witnesses; restorative justice; magistrates; judges; problem-solving courts

Chapter.  7309 words. 

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