Scottish Sentencing Council guidelines to cover death by driving and wildlife offences

Scottish Sentencing Council guidelines to cover death by driving and wildlife offences

Launching its Business Plan this week, the Scottish Sentencing Council announced the areas its first guidelines will cover including death by driving, and environment & wildlife offences.

Environmental and wildlife issues have particular significance in Scotland relating to tourism, rural industry and the local economy and guidelines on environmental offences will be especially helpful in setting down an approach to how corporations should be sentenced, according to the council.

The council will also begin researching the sentencing of sexual offences - with a focus on those involving children. These account for a high proportion of sentences, particularly in the High Court.

Members are also looking ahead to the next Business Plan for 2018 - 21 in which they will address theft and property offences and domestic abuse. Before dealing with these matters, however, the council will need to take account of the Scottish government’s actions on sentences under 12 months and a proposed new offence dealing with domestic abuse.

Council chair, the Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian said: “The topics we have selected to begin preparing guidelines on are of importance to local communities and families across Scotland. We will take the time to properly research each area and consult widely, not only with our justice partners, but with relevant groups and the wider public.

“We welcome input from those interested and encourage you to have your say in helping to shape Scotland’s first sentencing guidelines. We will produce easy-read documents of our consultation process in a bid to engage as many people as possible. We are designing these guidelines to assist judges and at the same time to promote a better understanding of how the sentencing process works.”

Susan Gallagher, acting chief executive of Victim Support Scotland (VSS) said: “For far too long sentencing practice has been confusing for victims of crime, our communities and society as a whole. Many do not understand the sentence that has been passed down, how the decision was made, and what this means in practice.

“VSS welcomes the work of the Scottish Sentencing Council, and looks forward to the production of sentencing guidelines which we believe should help victims better understand a confusing and complex system. We are also delighted to see that these guidelines will be consulted upon widely.”

Share icon
Share this article: