Child Cruelty Consultation

Closes 13 Sep 2017

Opened 13 Jun 2017


What is the Sentencing Council?

The Sentencing Council is the independent body responsible for developing sentencing guidelines for the courts to use when passing a sentence. Part of the Council’s remit (ss.118-136 Coroners and Justice Act 2009) is to conduct public consultations on guidelines for the sentencing of offenders.

What is the consultation about?

The Council is consulting on a Child Cruelty guideline that will include guidelines for three offenes:

  • Cruelty to a child
  • Causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm
  • Failing to protect a girl from the risk of FGM

The new guideline will provide sentencers across the Crown Court and magistrates’ courts with guidance for all of the offences listed above, which will assist in achieving the Council’s objective of consistent sentencing, and provide transparency for the public regarding the possible penalties for these offences.

What else is happening as part of the consultation process?

This is a 12 week public consultation. During the consultation period, the Council will host a number of consultation meetings to seek views from groups with an interest in this area as well as with sentencers. Once the consultation exercise is over and the results considered, a final guideline will be published and used by all courts.


Further information can be found below at annex A and B and a copy of the full consultation document can be found at annex C.

Respond to consultation


  • All Areas


  • Citizens
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Charities
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Police
  • Prosecutors
  • Offenders
  • Victims
  • Legal professional bodies
  • Family mediators
  • Family lawyers
  • Mental health professionals
  • Health professionals
  • Citizens
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Charities
  • Government departments
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary


  • Courts
  • Criminal justice
  • Law
  • Family justice
  • Judiciary
  • Mental health
  • Criminal justice