NSW Sentencing Council

​Victims' involvement in sentencing

The NSW Attorney General, Mark Speakman, has asked us to conduct a review of victims' involvement in the sentencing process [PDF 177KB].

Mr Speakman noted that questions are often raised about the nature and extent of victims' involvement in sentencing, minimising victims' distress in proceedings, and who can be considered a victim and make a victim impact statement.

The relevant provisions are contained in:

Consultation paper

We  have produced a consultation paper to help us seek your views about victims' involvement in sentencing.

We invited submissions to the review in response to the questions and issues raised in this consultation paper and other relevant issues.

Submissions

The submissions we have received, including preliminary submissions, are available at the link below:

The deadline for submissions closed Friday 10 November 2017.

Terms of reference

I ... request that the Council conduct a review of victims' involvement in the sentencing process under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedures) Act 1999 (NSW) and consider:

  1. The principles courts apply when receiving and addressing victim impact statements.
  2. Who can make a victim impact statement.
  3. Procedural issues with the making and reception in court of a victim impact statement, including the content of a victim impact statement, the evidential admissibility applied to a victim impact statement, and objections to the content of victim impact statements.
  4. The level of support and assistance available to victims.

In undertaking this review, the Council should have regard to:

  • the obligations arising under section 107 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW)
  • the effect of the current framework on victims
  • developments in other jurisdictions both in Australia and overseas
  • minimising victim distress in the sentencing process.

[Received 24 May 2017]