I am pleased to announce a significant step forward for sentencing in the ACT. On Wednesday the 20th of March I introduced the Crimes (Sentencing) Amendment Bill 2024 to the ACT Legislative Assembly.

There has been a lot of public discussion around sentencing in the ACT over the past couple of years. There is rightly a concern here that sentencing is biased towards the defence due to the current situation where the prosecution cannot submit advice to the judge on sentencing. This Bill will ensure there is an equal opportunist for both the defence and the prosecution to provide advice on sentencing in court.

I have introduced and campaigned for this change because victim-survivors are so often retraumatised through their experiences with the criminal justice system. This was the key point made in a landmark 2021 report into the ACT's responses to sexual violence crimes which explicitly noted that not allowing submissions from the prosecution leads to an unnecessary increase in appeals based on inadequate or excessive sentences.

I hope this legislation will go some way to providing a voice to victims on the aspect of sentencing through the prosecution's presentation of advice to the judge. I will continue to provide updates on this page and on my socials as the legislation makes its way through parliament later this year.