Sentencing Guidelines Council

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The Sentencing Guidelines Council was a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government, created by s.167 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It gave authoritative guidance on sentencing to the courts of England and Wales. It was replaced in April 2010 by the Sentencing Council.


The Council was chaired by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and comprised seven judicial members, appointed by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice and the Home Secretary, and four non-judicial members, appointed by the Home Secretary after consultation with the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice.

The seven judicial members had to include a circuit judge, a district judge (magistrates courts) and a lay magistrate. The non-judicial members had to be experienced in policing, criminal prosecution, criminal defence or victim welfare.

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