The Scottish Sentencing Council was officially launched this week. This entirely new and independent advisory body will be chaired by the Rt Hon Lord Carloway, the Lord Justice Clerk.
The Council’s formal functions are to prepare guidelines for sentencing; publish information about sentences imposed by the courts and guideline judgments; and conduct research into sentencing. This will include recommended sentencing for Health & Safety offences.
The Council has been created to promote consistency in sentencing in the Scottish courts, assisting with development, awareness and understanding of sentencing policy and practice.
As the Council is still in its early stages, it is likely to take some time before the first sentencing guidelines are produced by the Scottish Sentencing Council.
In the meantime, the guidelines produced by the equivalent Council in England and Wales will be persuasive in the Scottish courts.
Tougher guidelines on health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene cases were published by the Council earlier this month and are due to come into force in February 2016. Fines for larger companies found guilty of breaching health & safety legislation could be in the region of £10 million.
On November 19, 2015