The Parmoor Lecture: Achieving consistency in sentencing

|Speeches|Sir Brian Leveson

Introduction

“May I start by thanking you for the invitation to give this, the fifth annual lecture held in memory of Milo Cripps, the fourth Lord Parmoor, a colourful character who clearly lived a wonderfully varied life. While at Oxford and whether to celebrate his birthday or the age of his car, he is said to have filled its radiator with champagne, leaving the University not knowing what he wanted to do. He went on to become a banker, a bookseller dealing in antiquarian books and, most famously a large botanical collection, a traveller and, most important, a staunch supporter of the work of the Howard League for Penal Reform.”

“I am delighted to be able to use this opportunity to speak to you about the work of the Sentencing Council of which I have been Chairman since late 2009, which was prior to its legislative birth in April 2010. The Sentencing Council is an independent, nondepartmental public body of the Ministry of Justice and replaced 2 the Sentencing Guidelines Council and the Sentencing Advisory Panel: its primary role is to issue guidelines for both magistrates and the Crown Court on sentencing. The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 provides that these guidelines must be followed unless it is in the interests of justice not to do so. We also have statutory responsibilities in relation to research and public confidence and we have taken this remit to launch wide ranging publicity around the process of sentencing.”

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