Statutory Sentencing Reform in Israel: Exploring the Sentencing Law of 2012

Israel Law Review, 46(3), p. 455-479

25 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2018

See all articles by Julian V. Roberts

Julian V. Roberts

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Oren Gazal-Ayal

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

In 2012 the Knesset approved a new sentencing law. Israel thus became the latest jurisdiction to introduce statutory directions for courts to follow in sentencing. The approach of the United States to structuring judicial discretion often entails the use of a sentencing grid with presumptive sentencing ranges. In contrast, the Sentencing Act of Israel reflects a less prescriptive method: it provides guidance by words rather than numbers. Retributivism is clearly identified as the penal philosophy underpinning the new law, which takes a novel approach to promoting more proportionate sentencing. Courts are directed to construct an individualised proportionate sentencing range appropriate to the case in hand. Once this is established, the court then follows additional directions regarding factors and principles related to sentencing. Although other jurisdictions have placed the purposes and principles of sentencing on a statutory footing, this is the first such legislative declaration in Israel. The statute also contains a methodology to implement a proportional approach to sentencing as well as detailed guidance on sentencing factors. This article describes and explores the new Sentencing Act, making limited comparisons to sentencing reforms in other jurisdictions – principally England and Wales, New Zealand and the United States. In concluding, we speculate on the likely consequences of the law: will it achieve the goals of promoting more consistent and principled sentencing?

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Julian V. and Gazal-Ayal, Oren, Statutory Sentencing Reform in Israel: Exploring the Sentencing Law of 2012 (November 1, 2013). Israel Law Review, 46(3), p. 455-479, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3181893

Julian V. Roberts

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Oren Gazal-Ayal (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://weblaw.haifa.ac.il/en/Faculty/GazalAyal/Pages/default.aspx

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