Guideline judgments

Guideline judgments are court decisions that give guidance to judges in relation to how they should sentence offenders.  One purpose of guideline judgments is to reduce inconsistency in sentencing and help to make sure like cases are treated alike.

Guideline judgments might contain guidelines that apply generally, or guidelines that apply to specific courts, to specific offences, or to specific classes of offenders.

The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) contains a scheme for guideline judgments in sections 36-42A.

The Attorney General can apply for a guideline judgment and the Court of Criminal Appeal can issue guidelines on its own motion.

Following is a list of guideline judgment applications in NSW.

​Offence
​J​udgment a​pplications

High Range PCA

Attorney General's Application No 3 of 2002 [2004] NSWCCA 303

Form 1 Attorney General's Application No 1 of 2002 [2002] NSWCCA 518

Assault Police

Attorney General's Application No 2 of 2002 [2002] NSWCCA 515 This application was refused.

Guilty Plea

Thomson and Houlton [2000] NSWCCA 309

Break, Enter & Steal

Ponfield [1999] NSWCCA 435

Drug Importation

Wong and Leung [1999] NSWCCA 420 This decision was overruled.

See Wong v The Queen; Leung v The Queen [2001] HCA 64

Armed Robbery Henry [1999] NSWCCA 111

Dangerous Driving

Jurisic [1998] NSWSC 597.

This decision was reformulated in R v Whyte [2002] NSWCCA 343