THE SENTENCING ACT 2020 - PART 1

It was Statutory Instrument 2020 No.1236 which brought into force the Sentencing Act 2020 on the 1st December 2020. The Act is in force save for Schedules 22 and 26. The Act is a bit of a monster and consists of 420 Sections and 29 Schedules. The Act is split into 14 separate Parts and some of those Parts are sub-divided into Chapters.

We only have an hour and I am therefore going to concentrate on Part 2, Chapters 2 and 3. I have chosen these two Chapters because they concern important matters which ‘crop up’ on a daily basis when acting as an Advocate in either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.

I have been concerned for some while that defendants are being given sentences which are simply not lawful. I know this to be true because it often only comes to light when there is an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the severity of the sentence that had been imposed. It is invariably the lawyers in the Court of Appeal office who discover all of the sentencing errors. But what of those defendants whose sentence is never the subject of an appeal????

There is a not unreasonable expectation on the part of the defendant that the lawyers representing him fully understand the sentencing powers of the Court – alas, this is rarely true – the Sections are ‘labyrinthine in their complexity but that is no excuse!’ say the Court of Appeal.

 

Content

 

The following topics will be under consideration:

  • The committal for sentence of adults for either-way offences (Section 14)

  • The committal for sentence of dangerous adult offenders (Section 15)

  • The committal for sentence of young offenders for serious offences (Section 16)

  • The committal for sentence of dangerous young offenders (Section 17)

  • Committal for sentence and sending for trial (adults) (Section 18)

  • Committal for sentence and sending for trial (children/young people) (Section 19)

  • Committal for sentence in relation to summary offences (Section 20)

  • Powers of the Crown Court on committal for sentence (adults) (Section 21)

  • Powers of the Crown Court on committal for sentence (children/young people) (Section 22)

  • Powers of the Crown Court on committal under Section 20 (Section 23)

  • Further powers to commit offenders to the Crown Court (Section 24)

  • Remittal of offenders aged under 18 (Section 25)

  • Custody or bail? (Section 26)

  • Youth Court remitting to the Adult Court for sentence (Section 27)

  • Remittal from one Magistrates’ Court to another Magistrates’ Court (Section 28)

  • Rights of appeal (Section 29)