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Crime Crime

Extend the scope of the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme

Last updated: 02:57pm 15 December 2018

We will extend the scope of the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme so a wider range of sentences can be challenged.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.44

Our verdict

Under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme members of the public can ask the Attorney General’s office to examine sentences handed down by Crown Courts if they believe them to be too low. Only certain types of cases can be reviewed, including murder, rape and robbery.

In their 2017 manifesto the government pledged to extend the scope of offences included under the scheme so that a wider range of sentences could be challenged. So has this been done?

In short, yes. In August 2017, 19 terror-related offences were added to the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme.

Interestingly, despite the extension to include terror-related offences, the number of referrals under the scheme actually fell in 2017 compared to the previous year.

“The Attorney and Solicitor General referred 173 sentences to the Court of Appeal that they thought needed looking at again, compared to 190 in 2016.”

But the most significant facts for our purposes are that the manifesto promised to extend the scheme and the government has followed through on its pledge. This policy is therefore ‘done’.

Extend the scope of your fact file!

There's always room for debate

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