Driving Whilst Disqualified - A Case for Change
Murphy, Julian R and Moodie, Hugo. ‘Driving whilst Disqualified: A Case for Change.’ Northern Territory Law Journal 3 (2016): 93-112.
20 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2018
Date Written: September 1, 2016
This article arises out of the authors’ concern at the approach of Northern Territory courts to sentencing for the offence of driving whilst disqualified, which has been labelled “informal mandatory sentencing” by another commentator. It is posited that not only does this approach rest on an unstable precedential foundation, but it also lacks cogent justification in sentencing principles and is an inefficacious means of protecting the public and deterring further offending. Particular concern is expressed at the impact of the current approach on Indigenous Territorians. It is suggested that it is open to the courts to curtail and eventually reverse the overly punitive approach to sentencing for this offence, an approach that is largely the product of judge made law. Failing that, reference is made to other jurisdictions to make good the proposition that legislative intervention in this area is long overdue.
Keywords: sentencing, driving offences, deterrence, Indigenous Australians
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