Sentencing Council: new Definitive Guideline published

22 July 2020

The Sentencing Council has today published, in accordance with section 120 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, a new definitive guideline, ‘Overarching principles: Sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders and neurological impairments’.  For the first time there will be a guideline for sentencing these complex and difficult cases, which we are confident will be of assistance to the courts.

During the development of the guideline the Council undertook research and analysis as well as holding a public consultation. As with all Sentencing Council consultations, the views of our consultees were carefully considered and were invaluable in shaping the final guideline.

This guideline will come into force on 1 October 2020 and is applicable to all offenders aged 18 and older, sentenced on or after that date in the Crown Court and magistrates’ courts.

The guideline is available to download from our website, Alongside the guideline, we have also published a response to the consultation, and other related documents.