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The Council advises the NSW Attorney General on sentencing matters. It was established in 2003, the first in Australia, by Part 8B of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
Section 100J sets out the functions of the Council. The Council independently and impartially:
The Sentencing Council also seeks information from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) of the Department of Communities and Justice and the Judicial Commission of New South Wales in matters of sentencing.
The Council meets once a month, more often if required. Observers can attend meetings in the absence of appointed members but are not able to vote at meetings.