Common Law in Action today – Sentencing Guidelines Updated in Victoria

Tuesday , 19, July 2016 Leave a comment

This is an UPDATE of the Victorian Sentencing guidelines that Magistrates would use in Sentencing.


We see once the Legislation is passed and matters go before the Courts, those decisions create precedents that are binding on the lower Courts to follow.

The Sentencing guidelines here have been updated to reflect those NEW decisions that were significant enough to become part of our Common Law.

Let’s examine them now : –

2016: Additions, updates and revisions

On 27 June 2016 we published updates to various topics to reflect recent appellate decisions and legislative amendments. Topics affected include:

  • – Essential facts to be stated, to incorporate Johns (A Pseudonym) [2016] VSCA 97 regarding the need, when an offender is being sentenced for multiple instances of the same offence, to explain why different sentences are imposed on each instance of the offence.
  • Chapter 6.7 – Parity between co-offenders, to add discussion of parity between multiple co-offenders, with reference to Abdou [2015] VSCA 359; update discussion of the phrase ‘justifiable sense of grievance’; and incorporate Perri [2016] VSCA 89 on the irrelevance of a co-offender’s s 6AAA declaration
  • Chapter 8.3 – Current sentencing practices, to note recent Court of Appeal decisions that current sentencing practices for negligently causing serious injury by driving (Harrison [2015] VSCA 349) and dangerous driving causing death (Stephens [2016] VSCA 121) were inadequate
  • 10.4.1 – Offender’s history important in assessing moral culpability, to incorporate Abdou [2015] VSCA 349 and Stewart [2015] VSCA 368
  • Chapter 12.6 – Aggregate sentences, to incorporate Finn v Wallace & Stewart [2016] VSC 10
  • Chapter 14 – Community correction orders – to incorporate Gul [2016] VSCA 82; DPP v Natoli [2016] VSCA 35; DPP v Borg [2016] VSCA 53; DPP v Grech [2016] VSCA 98; DPP v Basic [2016] VSCA 99 regarding, among other things, issues relating to combining a CCO with imprisonment
  • 29.3.8 – Gravity of negligently causing serious injury, to incorporate Harrison [2015] VSCA 349

So we can see above as a direct result of decisions from Superior Courts the Sentencing guidelines have been updated to reflect the precedents that have been set in Common Law.

Source : Victorian Sentencing Manual

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