Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sentencing, Stephen Lawrence and the Rule of Law

Mr Justice Treacy's sentencing remarks in the Stephen Lawrence case are now available to view. As students - have a read and see if you can identify aggravating and mitigating factors referred to by the judge.

The BBC also have a good clip here from an interview prior to the sentences being passed in which a barrister explains how the judge will approach matters.

As the offences in question were prior to Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 on sentencing for murder - the Act does not apply to Dobson and Norris. Accordingly they were sentenced as juveniles, under the law which applied at the time. Whilst some have expressed concerns that this means shorter sentences than they would receive under the modern law, it is in accordance with the rule of law that laws should not have retrospective effect. In other words, if a law is to be applied it should have been in force at the relevant time.

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