Miscellaneous Amendments to sentencing guidelines 2023

Closed 30 Nov 2023

Opened 7 Sep 2023


What is this consultation about?

The Sentencing Council has built up a large body of sentencing guidelines and accompanying materials that are in use in courts throughout England and Wales. Over time guidelines require updating because users have pointed out issues (often using the feedback function on all guidelines) or case law or new legislation may render aspects of guidelines out of date. The Council therefore holds an annual consultation on miscellaneous amendments to guidelines and the explanatory materials that accompany them. This is the third of these annual consultations in which the Council seeks the views of guideline users to proposals to make amendments to existing guidelines.

The proposed changes relate to magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court.

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 on any proposed changes to existing guidelines.

Which offences and guidelines are covered by the proposed changes?

Matters relevant primarily to magistrates’ courts:

  • in the Allocation and Sentencing children and young people guidelines, adding a factor relating to waiting time to the non-exhaustive list of factors to be considered when deciding whether it is in the interests of justice to send a child jointly charged with an adult to the Crown Court for trial

Matters relevant to magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court:

Matters relevant to only to the Crown Court:

Other changes

In addition to the changes consulted on in this document, the Council has made other minor changes to guidelines or the explanatory materials which, while not requiring consultation, it was felt should be drawn to the attention of those responding to this consultation.

A list of these changes is provided in an Annex (see document below or at the end of the consultation).

Additional information and response paper

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 2000 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
  • Prosecutors
  • Offenders
  • Victims
  • Academics


  • Youth Justice
  • Criminal justice