The Principle of Composite Sentencing: Its Centrality to, and Implications for, the Asbo
30 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2006
Date Written: March 14, 2006
The ASBO was designed for use in cases involving individuals who have persistently committed criminal acts of a certain level of seriousness in a particular area, making the lives of those living there unbearable. It was intended to provide a mechanism for the imposition of composite sentences on perpetrators of such behaviour - a sentence reflecting the aggregate impact of their course of conduct as opposed to the seriousness of a single criminal act. This article argues that, even though the severe maximum sentence for breach of an ASBO can only be justified by reference to the principle of composite sentencing, the courts have denied the role of this principle. This has resulted in confusion, not only over the penalties which should be applied to individuals found to have breached their ASBO, but also over the role of the remedy itself. The article argues that the principle of composite sentencing should be recognised as an integral feature of the ASBO's design, and outlines three implications which would follow for the remedy.
Keywords: ASBO, anti-social behaviour, composite sentencing
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation