Coroners and Justice Act 2009 Explanatory Notes

Section 118 and Schedule 15:  Sentencing Council for England and Wales

558.This section establishes the Sentencing Council for England and Wales and introduces Schedule 15 which sets out details of the Council’s organisation and membership. Section 135 abolishes the SAP and the SGC.

559.Schedule 15 sets out the constitution of the Council, and makes provision about the appointment of the chair, deputy chair and members, the terms of appointment of members and the remuneration of members.

560.The Sentencing Council will consist of 14 members, of whom eight are judicial members and six are non-judicial members.

561.The judicial members will be appointed by the Lord Chief Justice with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor.

562.The non-judicial members will be appointed by the Lord Chancellor with the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice.

563.The Lord Chief Justice will appoint, with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor, one of the judicial members to chair the Council and one judicial member to chair the Council in the absence of the chairing member.

564.A person is eligible to be appointed as a judicial member if the person is a judge of the Court of Appeal, a puisne judge of the High Court, a circuit judge, a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) or a lay justice. The eight judicial members must include at least one Circuit judge, one District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) and one lay justice.

565.The Lord Chancellor will appoint as non-judicial members individuals with experience in one or more of the following areas: criminal defence, criminal prosecution, policing, sentencing policy and the administration of justice, the promotion of the welfare of victims of crime, academic study or research in criminal law or criminology, statistics and the rehabilitation of offenders.

566.The Lord Chief Justice is to have the title of President of the Sentencing Council of England and Wales although the President is not a member of the Council.

567.The Lord Chancellor can nominate a representative with experience of sentencing policy to attend and speak at Council meetings.

568.The Lord Chancellor can make an order with the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice to cover terms of office, re-appointment and removal of members.

569.The Council’s actions will remain valid even if there is a vacancy on the Council or there was a defect in the appointments procedure.

570.The Lord Chancellor may pay appropriate remuneration and expenses.

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