The Role Of Discretion In Prosecution Saint Charbel College/Legal Studies Essay

803 words - 4 pages

Assess the role discretion plays in sentencing and punishment of offenders
Discretion involves the power of judges and magistrates to determine the most appropriate sentence for a case. Discretion allows aid judicial officers to decide the proper sentence to various cases and to take to account the multiple different circumstances. Multiple factors alter the role of discretion during a case such as statutory guidelines, mandatory sentencing, aggravation and mitigating circumstances. The guide lines, the purpose for which types of penalties may be imposed, when the can be used and a general way of how a case should be carried out is all imbedded in the (Crime Case Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) thus making it a vital factor in sentencing in NSW.
A judge or magistrate has discretion of which punishment or sentence an offender should receive given the circumstances of the case, and balancing out the rights of the offender, victim and society. There are some cases where there isn’t complete discretion or none at all. Punishment is just one of the many purposes behind imposing a sentence. The crimes (sentencing procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) states allowable purpose of sentencing; ensure offenders adequately punished, prevent crime by deterring offenders of the law, to protect the community, promote rehabilitation of offenders, make offenders accountable for their actions and recognize the harm they’ve done to victims of their actions and to the community. A judge is given this type of discretion assuming he knows the right punishment for the right type of offense is to deter future crimes, set an example of the offender and to send a message to the community and to punish said offender from redoing his crime again. Community and parliament trust judges, public officials and private parties to make the right decisions on various matters on their opinions within general legal guidelines. It is a public officials power to act in certain circumstances according to personal judgment yet in some cases there are mandatory sentencing and maximum penalties. The maximum sentence is rarely handed down; an example of maximum sentence is (the Crimes act 1960 NSW) max penalty for murder is life imprisonment. Mandatory sentence removes judicial discretion by legislation, by setting a minimum or mandatory sentence for particular crimes. It removes a judge’s discretion from a case. Ethnic and low socio economic people are disadvantaged and some some indigenous over represented in prison. Judic...


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