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Public perspectives on judges' reasons for sentence

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Warner, K, Spiranovic, C ORCID: 0000-0002-5270-8719, Bartels, L, Gelb, K and Roberts, L 2021 , 'Public perspectives on judges' reasons for sentence' , The Australian Law Journal, vol. 95 , pp. 685-694 .

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Abstract

In their sentencing remarks, judges aspire to make their reasoning accessible and to appropriately acknowledge victim impact. This article reports on the findings of the National Jury Sentencing Study in relation to the views of empanelled and unempanelled jurors about judges’ sentencing remarks in a sample of sex and other violent offence cases. It found that most respondents endorsed the clarity and persuasiveness of the judges’ reasons and there was a relationship between perceptions of the appropriateness of the sentence and the clarity and persuasiveness of reasons. However, there was less agreement in relation to questions about victim impact, perceived victim vindication and balancing victim and offender issues, with significant differences between empanelled and unempanelled jurors. It is argued that making sentencing remarks more accessible to jurors and the general public has the potential to improve public confidence in sentencing generally – particularly in sex offence cases, where it is most lacking.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Warner, K and Spiranovic, C and Bartels, L and Gelb, K and Roberts, L
Keywords: sentencing reasons, public opinion
Journal or Publication Title: The Australian Law Journal
Publisher: Lawbook Co.
ISSN: 0004-9611
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