An examination of the use of suspended sentences

On the 24th of September 2010, the Attorney General requested that the Council examine the use of suspended sentences under section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW).


On 23 September 2011, the Attorney General asked the NSW Law Reform Commission (LRC) to review the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) and to work in collaboration with the Sentencing Council

As such, rather than make recommendations for reform, the Council provided  a background report, Suspended sentences in December 2011 to assist the broader review of the LRC.

Further information about the LRC review is available on the Commission website.

Other documents

Consultation paper (PDF, 7.4 MB) published June 2011.


Terms of reference

The Attorney General requested the Council to undertake its review of suspended sentences in line with the following terms of reference:

  1. an analysis of whether the use of suspended sentences has had any direct effect on the use of other sentencing options, including custodial and non-custodial options
  2. an examination of the extent to which the imposition of suspended sentences has exposed persons to the risk of imprisonment who would not otherwise have been sentenced to imprisonment
  3. an analysis of the primary reasons behind judicial decisions to impose suspended sentences in preference to other sentencing options, including: a) judicial attitudes to alternative sentences; b) availability of other options; and c) increased maximum penalties
  4. the identification of current community attitudes and expectations in relation to the use of suspended sentences
  5. an examination of whether the issues identified in relation to the above matters require reform
  6. an exploration of any options for reform
  7. any other relevant matter.

Last updated:

16 Feb 2024

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