The Federation Press

Sentencing in Tasmania


While Sentencing in Tasmania's focus is on Tasmania it is of relevance to all Australian jurisdictions because it contains an exposition of the common law principles in relation to sentencing including recent High Court decisions such as Olbrich (fact finding and sentencing); Ryan (sexual offenders and good character) Dinsdale (suspended sentences), Pearce (double punishment) and Postiglione (totality and parity).

The discussion of specific crimes and offences includes a section of Social Security fraud together with data on sentencing ranges for the most common offences based on national data for sentences imposed in 2000. The book will be particularly useful in those jurisdictions that do not have a comprehensive and up-to-date treatise on the law of sentencing.


It is ironic in a way, that just a couple of weeks after I heard the most outstanding plea in mitigation that I have heard for years, the second edition of Professor Warner’s book on sentencing, arrived for review. What is it that should characterise a good plea in mitigation? How do Courts go about the process of determining an appropriate sentence? Where there are several defendants, intoxicated defendants, accused with mental or physical handicaps, how does the Court balance the needs of the community against the personal circumstances? What is the role of defence Counsel in the sentencing process? I would hope that there is no practitioner who has appeared in Court, who has not, at the very least, a working knowledge of the first edition. If you thought it was helpful, then be prepared to be even more impressed with this edition. It is not just an update, but many of the Chapters have been completely revised. Issues which received a more cursory examination in the earlier edition have been explored in much greater detail. Whilst it is headed, “Sentencing in Tasmania”, and whilst Tasmanian authorities form the backbone of the decisions referred to, many High Court, other State and overseas decisions have been referred to, either to show a general agreement or, as occurs for instance in relation to the issue of sentence indications, prior to plea, the difference between their effect in Australia, where they are not binding, and the United Kingdom where they are. I will provide a quick thumbnail sketch of the chapter headings. The first three chapters deal with the relevant Acts, both State and Commonwealth, the procedure involved in sentencing and some general considerations. Chapter 4 considers fines, their imposition and enforcement. Chapter 5 looks at Restitution, compensation, including criminal injuries compensation and costs. Chapter 6 considers forfeiture and disqualification, 7 and 8, unsupervised release and supervised release respectively. Chapters 9 and 10 consider custodial orders and other sanctions, in particular in relation to persons who are mentally ill. Chapters 11 to 14 look at crimes against the person, robbery and property offences, drug offences and some specific summary offences, including driving, breach of restraint orders and social security fraud. The final chapter looks at appeals in relation both to summary and indictable matters. As we have come to expect, Professor Warner has, where practicable, collated the various ranges of penalties, such as those imposed for murder, manslaughter, drink driving and dangerous driving, police offences, indictable offences (divided into those where custodial and non custodial sentences were imposed), drugs offences and social security offences under various categories. This book contains everything a litigation practitioner might need to know in relation to the how, when where and why of sentencing and is to be very highly recommended. I suggest that all of us can indeed benefit by considering the material contained in it, and applying that knowledge to our future pleas in mitigation. - Law Society of Tasmania Newsletter, June 2002

Table of Contents

General Considerations
Restitution, Compensation and Costs
Forfeiture and Disqualification
Unsupervised Release
Supervised Released
Custodial Orders
Other Sanctions
Crimes Against the Person
Robbery and Property Offences
Drug Offences and Other Crimes
Specific Summary Offenses

Table of Cases/ Table of Statues/ Index

Of interest...