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The public and stakeholders in the criminal justice system will get an opportunity to have their say on the Barbados Sentencing Guidelines Project, which will give Judges and Magistrates sentencing guidelines for rape, death by dangerous driving, and dishonesty offences.

The two-week public consultation will begin on Monday, April 25, and conclude on Friday, May 6. Persons may view the guidelines on the Barbados Law Courts’ website, and submit their comments to sentencing.guidelines@barbados.gov.bb.

Following discussions with the Sentencing Guidelines Committee, the drafts were developed for use by Judges and Magistrates and will benefit victims and witnesses of crime, prosecutors and defence attorneys.

In a video released last year on the first phase of the Sentencing Guidelines Project, Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir Patterson Cheltenham, said the guidelines were intended to guide Judges and Magistrates in the process of determining and explaining sentences.

“They are also intended to achieve consistency of approach but not uniformity of sentences. It is not intended that the guidelines will replace the discretion of the individual Judge or Magistrate in determining the appropriate sentence within the applicable range,” Sir Patterson stated. 

Comments are encouraged from the Judiciary, Magistracy, Barbados Bar Association, Probation Department, the Barbados Prison Service, Barbados Police Service, The University of the West Indies and the public.  At the end of the consultation, all comments will be vetted by the Committee, and adjustments made where necessary.

Participants are encouraged to contribute to the production of the comprehensive guidelines document, aimed at catering to the needs of the Barbadian public.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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