Victim Influence, Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Sentencing Law in the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal
Flinders Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 143-159, 2007
17 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2007
Victim impact evidence was introduced by the Victim Rights Act 1996 (NSW) to facilitate greater victim participation in sentencing. Since then, various decisions of the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal have read down these provisions, now contained in the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW). Most recently, R v Slack  NSWCCA 128 ruled that impact evidence is unlikely to influence sentence because facts in aggravation of an offender's sentence need to be established beyond reasonable doubt. Following Slack, the bulk of submissions contained in a victim impact statement may now be rejected, against the intent of parliament providing for their tenure in the first instance. This article explores the consequences of Slack and the ways in which this decision will further limit the justiciable and therapeutic outcomes intended by the 1996 reforms.
Keywords: Victim Impact Statement, Sentencing, Sworn Evidence
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation