Book Chapter

The pernicious impact of perceived public opinion on sentencing: Findings from an empirical study of the public’s approach to personal mitigation

A Lovegrove

Mitigation and Aggravation at Sentencing | Published : 2011


Sentencing has become harsher in recent times, particularly in the more serious cases. One cause of this shift has been public opinion. This holds true for countries around the world, including Australia and Britain. This influence has several strands and is both direct and indirect. Judges in Australia and in England and Wales have come to regard the public as being more punitive than the courts, and as wanting sentences to reflect better the seriousness of the offending and less the interests of the offender. As a consequence, in many types of case, the courts are now imposing tougher sentences. In England and Wales public opinion has had a second and indirect influence. There judges must ..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers