NSW Sentencing Council

Terms of Reference

Review of the Standard Non-Parole Period for the bushfire offence and the maximum penalties for arson offences

The Sentencing Council is to review the standard non-parole period for the bushfire offence under section 203E of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to determine whether it should be increased upon passage of the Community Protection Legislation Amendment Bill in the NSW Parliament to increase to the maximum penalty for the offence from 14 years' imprisonment to 21 years' imprisonment. The Sentencing Council is further to review whether the maximum penalties for the arson offences in Part 4AD Division 2 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) should be increased.

In undertaking this review, the Sentencing Council should consider:

  • The number of convictions that have been made, and the corresponding average length of any custodial sentences imposed, in respect of the bushfire and arson offences since ... 2009 ...;
  • Environmental conditions, including current drought conditions across the state, that may exacerbate the potential harm caused by bushfires and other forms of fires;
  • The principles that courts apply when sentencing for these offences; and
  • Community expectations.

[Received 12 November 2018]