NSW Sentencing Council

​Domestic violence

The Attorney General has asked the Sentencing Council to undertake an analysis of sentencing in domestic violence offences. Periodically, questions are raised as to whether sentences imposed for personal violence offences committed in domestic relationships are consistent with, or vary from, sentences imposed for personal violence offences in other settings.

A report was provided to the Attorney General on 18 February 2016.

Terms of reference

The Sentencing Council is to undertake an analysis of sentencing in domestic violence offences to:

  1. Consider the principles the Courts apply when sentencing domestic violence offences (as defined by the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 - "Domestic Violence Offences") and advise on how those principles are applied by the Courts
  2. Compare sentences imposed and sentences actually served for Domestic Violence Offences with those imposed for the same personal violence offences (not classified as Domestic Violence Offences) for key offence types where the Council considers undertaking a comparison may demonstrate sentencing patterns between the two categories of offences
  3. Compare the available sentences, sentencing outcomes and sentences served for the NSW offence of contravening an ADVO (s 14 Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007) with the comparable offences in other Australian jurisdictions and
  4. Compare the reoffending rates for people convicted of Domestic Violence Offences with the reoffending rates for the same personal violence offences (not classified as Domestic Violence Offences) for key offence types where a comparison is possible and the Council considers comparison may demonstrate difference between the two categories of offences.