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The use of suspended sentences in Australia: unsheathing the Sword of Damocles

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Bartels, LM (2007) The use of suspended sentences in Australia: unsheathing the Sword of Damocles. Criminal Law Journal, 31 (2). pp. 113-132. ISSN 0314-1160

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Abstract

Wholly suspended sentences are a controversial sentencing option currently
available in all Australian jurisdictions. This article examines the interpretation
of the two-step process for imposing a suspended sentence as set out by the
High Court in Dinsdale and points to important differences in the approach to
exercising the discretion to suspend. In addition, the varying severity of the
“bite” of the sentence through the imposition of conditions or combination with
other sentencing options is discussed. The significance of a suspended
sentence rests, in large part, on the threat of imposition in the event of
breach. The effect of divergence in relation to breach provisions is therefore
also reviewed. Statistical information on the use of suspended sentences in
the higher courts is presented and the need for a more consistent approach
to the use of this sentencing option identified.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Criminal Law Journal
Publisher: Thomson Lawbook Co
Page Range: pp. 113-132
ISSN: 0314-1160
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:31
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:35
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