Source: (2008) In Arie Freiberg and Karen Gelb, Eds., Penal Populism, Sentencing Councils and Sentencing Policy. Cullompton, Devon UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 112-125

The English approach to sentencing guidelines has changed markedly in the past decade. Since the early 1980s the Court of Appeal had occasionally issued guideline judgments, laying down sentence levels and other guidance (see Ashworth, 2005), but the coverage of these judgments was limited and they were entirely judge-made. This chapter deals with the major developments since then and with their implications. The first section discusses the introduction of the Sentencing Advisory Panel in 1998 and the second charts the creation of the Sentencing Guidelines Council in 2003. In the third section the involvement of the public and of public opinion in the process of creating sentencing guidelines is assessed, while the fourth explores the broader political context of the English developments. (Excerpt)