Valerie questions Attorney-General on sentencing of offenders

Valerie questioned the Attorney-General, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP at Questions to the Attorney-General in the House of Commons on Tuesday 7 January 2013.

Valerie said:

“Thank you, Mr Speaker and happy new year. Does the Attorney-General agree that, at the end of the day, it is for the judges who hear the evidence in a case to decide what the sentence should be?”

The Attorney-General responded:

“The hon. Lady is quite right. We must rely on judges’ judiciousness in deciding what sentences should be. Occasionally there will be examples that are unduly lenient and fall within the specified schedule where I can make a reference. The object of the reference is not only to correct the particular sentence that has been passed but to try to lay down a good precedent for the future. It is noteworthy that we have referred fewer cases overall in the last 12 months than the 12 months before. That may be an indication of the extent to which the Sentencing Council is working to ensure consistency.”