Expanded Explanations in Sentencing Guidelines

Closed 23 May 2019

Opened 28 Feb 2019


What is the Sentencing Council?

The Sentencing Council is the independent body responsible for developing sentencing guidelines which courts in England and Wales must follow when passing a sentence. The Council consults on its proposed guidelines before they come into force and makes changes to the guidelines as a result of consultations.

What is this consultation about?

The Council is proposing to embed additional information into offence specific sentencing guidelines to make it easier for users to access relevant information. This will provide sentencers and other court users with useful information relating to commonly used factors in guidelines and also improve transparency for victims, defendants and the wider public. At the same time the Council is proposing changes to wording in some guidelines to improve consistency and clarity across guidelines.

We are consulting about both the concept of providing the additional information and the content of that information. We welcome responses to all or any of the questions which we raise in the consultation.  We recognise that not every respondent will want to reply to every question. 

The proposals apply to all offence specific Sentencing Council guidelines for sentencing adults or organisations.  They do not apply to guidelines for sentencing children and young people; in these guidelines users are referred to the Overarching principles – Sentencing Children and Young People Definitive Guideline for further guidance on sentencing under 18s.

Following the conclusion of this consultation exercise, a response will be published at: www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk

We will treat all responses as public documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and we may attribute comments and include a list of all respondents’ names in any final report we publish. If you wish to submit a confidential response, you should contact us before sending the response. PLEASE NOTE – we will disregard automatic confidentiality statements generated by an IT system.

In addition, responses may be shared with the Justice Committee of the House of Commons.

Our privacy notice sets out the standards that you can expect from the Sentencing Council when we request or hold personal information (personal data) about you; how you can get access to a copy of your personal data; and what you can do if you think the standards are not being met.


  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Police
  • Prosecutors
  • Offenders
  • Victims
  • Legal professional bodies


  • Criminal justice