Research Monograph 27 – Crown appeals against sentence

Research Monograph 27 Cover - Crown Appeals Against Sentence

Paperback, 100 pp, June 2005, ISBN 0 7313 5611 X
To obtain a copy, please order from shop.nsw

The right of the Crown to appeal against sentence for matters dealt with on indictment was created in NSW in 1924 and is found in s 5D of the Criminal Appeal Act 1912. However, the principles upon which the Court of Criminal Appeal should exercise its jurisdiction were only clearly settled by the High Court in 1977, in Griffiths v The Queen (1977) 137 CLR 293.

There are very few empirical studies of Crown appeals in Australia. This study analyses 293 Crown appeals against inadequacy of sentence, determined by the Court of Criminal Appeal between 2001 and 2004. In 211 cases (72% of all Crown appeals), an error was identified by the court. In 151 cases, multiple errors were found. This study seeks to record the type and frequency of particular errors found in the 211 cases. It also analyses circumstances where the court exercised its residual discretion and declined to intervene to increase the sentence. Finally, the study evaluates the courts’ approach to re-sentencing by focusing on five key offences.