The Sentencing Code and Sentencing Guidelines

27 November 2020

On Tuesday 1 December 2020, the Sentencing Code comes into effect in England and Wales, consolidating existing sentencing procedure law into a single Sentencing Act. To enable sentencers and practitioners to follow the Code with immediate effect, the Sentencing Council has updated the sentencing guidelines and all related materials to reflect the new provisions and will publish revised versions on its website from 1 December. The Code covers sentencing for adults and under 18s and applies to all convictions on or after 1 December, irrespective of the date on which the offence was committed. It includes general provisions relating to sentencing procedure, the different types of sentences available to the courts, and certain behaviour orders that can be imposed in addition to a sentence. Because it is a consolidation, it makes no substantive changes to the law.

New website

The Council is also launching a new website on 1 December. The site is designed to engage public audiences with information about sentencing and how the guidelines work. The area holding the sentencing guidelines has not changed, and any direct links users have set up to the guidelines should continue to work. Visit the Council’s new website from 1 December for more information about the Sentencing Code and the changes made to the guidelines.