Criminal Sentencing as Practical Wisdom
Dr Brown’s doctoral thesis has received prompt and deserved publication, as this insightful book is built on unrivalled access to 25 Scottish judges at both High Court and shrieval level who discuss their approaches to sentencing. The Scottish Sentencing Council hopes to publish sentencing guidelines soon, but much is left to the individual sentencer. In eight chapters the writer discusses whether sentencing is an art or a craft, whether it is a skill which comes naturally or through experience and training, the use of discretion versus guidelines, discounting sentences for early pleas of guilty, and consistency.
The writer explains all of these concepts clearly, quoting liberally from comments. It is a very timely work as the process and practice of sentencing is set to change, with greater use of guidelines and reference to guidance from the Scottish Sentencing Council and its equivalent in England and other jurisdictions. The book is a useful snapshot of how different judges tackled sentencing before these changes and enables practitioners to see the criteria deployed by sentencers to determine whether an accused should be sent to jail or given a community sentence. In many cases it was the interaction between the accused’s past record and the gravity of the offence which was the clincher.
This is a worthwhile book for both academics and practitioners, since there is plenty of content to satisfy these normally diverse interests.
In this issue
- Form that misses the mark
- The dual role: before and after
- Don't just write – plan
- CMS enforcement: little help when needed?
- Flight or fight
- Reading for pleasure
- Opinion: Campbell Deane
- Book reviews
- President's column
- Knowledge base becomes smarter
- People on the move
- Brexit: planning for "What if?"
- Report card
- Greater good and greatest need
- Finances: big not always better
- Doulas: living and dying well in Scotland
- Lobbying: the new regime
- Protect yourselves, Society warns
- Ending short sentences: impact on the courts
- Board policy: do not shake
- Brexit and professional sport
- Rely on HMRC's guidance at your peril
- Standard missives: an unachievable dream?
- Let in-house keep you right
- Accredited specialists: five years can qualify
- What's Daisy done?: Society's new campaign
- Law reform roundup
- Wartime honour
- Paralegal pointers
- Society sets up secure channel
- All fee earners now
- Stand up to your stammer
- The data imperative
- Ask Ash
- In-house: my client, my job?
- Q&A corner
- Giving cheques a new image