Consultation of Sentencing Guidelines
The Courts of the Sovereign Base Areas are introducing of Sentencing Guidelines for some offences committed in the Areas.
The Courts already refer to the Sentencing Guidelines of England & Wales (see www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/crown-court/) when sentencing more serious offences, adjusted to reflect the different remission provision which exist in the Sovereign Base Areas. However, because of the significant differences that can exist between offences and maximum sentences, it is not always appropriate to use those Guidelines for all offences.
It is therefore intended to have a number of Guidelines covering the offences which come before the SBA Courts most frequently. These are non-statutory and will not be binding on the court, but it is hoped that they will:
- Provide greater consistency when sentencing;
- Assist lawyers to advise their clients on possible sentences;
- Assist the Police in setting realistic levels of cash bail;
- Give greater transparency in the sentencing process.
The court will not be obliged to follow the Guidelines but would normally give reasons when departing substantially from the relevant guideline.
Before the Guidelines are published, the Presiding Senior Judge and Resident Judge would like to offer all court users the chance to comment on those Guidelines, and in particular:
- Whether the Culpability and Harm criteria identified in each Guideline are fair and realistic
- Whether there are any other factors that should be considered when sentencing
- Whether the sentence Starting Points and Ranges are proportionate to the culpability and harm that has been assessed and not substantially different from the range of sentences imposed in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus.
The consultation process will conclude on 15th March 2024. All comments should be emailed to the Courts at
His Honour Judge N Sanders