New sentencing guidelines have been approved by the High Court of Justiciary, aimed at increasing public knowledge and understanding of sentencing in Scotland.
The guidelines have been developed by the Scottish Sentencing Council and set out an eight-step guide courts should follow when reaching sentencing decisions. This includes some of the factors to be considered when sentencing.
The new guidelines will come into effect for all Scottish courts from 22nd September 2021.
The chair of the council’s sentencing process committee, Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull, said: “The approval of the sentencing process guideline is a significant milestone in the Council’s work to make sentencing more open and transparent in Scotland. For the first time, people will be able to see the steps a court follows in order to arrive at an appropriate sentence and some of the factors which are taken into account.”
He goes onto add that the guidelines will improve understanding of the process of sentencing in Scottish courts and will promote a “consistent approach to sentencing”, paving the way for specific offence guidelines currently being developed by the council.