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Sentencing Act 2020

Changes over time for: Section 323

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Sentencing Act 2020, Section 323 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 05 October 2022. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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323Minimum term order: other life sentencesE+W

(1)This section applies where a court—

(a)passes a life sentence in circumstances in which the sentence is not fixed by law, and

(b)makes a minimum term order.

[F1(1A)The starting point, in determining the minimum term, is the relevant portion of the notional determinate sentence.

(1B)The “notional determinate sentence”, in relation to a life sentence, is the custodial sentence that the court would have imposed if the court had not imposed the life sentence.

(1C)The “relevant portion” of the notional determinate sentence is—

(a)where that sentence is within section 247A(2A) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (terrorist prisoners not entitled to early release), the term that the court would have determined as the appropriate custodial term (within the meaning given by subsection (8) of that section);

(b)where that sentence is a sentence under section 252A, 254, F2... 278 or 279 (and is not within paragraph (a)), two-thirds of the term that the court would have determined as the appropriate custodial term under that section;

(c)where that sentence is any other custodial sentence, two-thirds of the term of the sentence.]

(2)[F3The minimum term must be the starting point adjusted as the court considers appropriate, taking into account—]

(a)the seriousness of—

(i)the offence, or

(ii)the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it,

(b)F4... and

(c)the effect that the following would have if the court had sentenced the offender to a term of imprisonment—

(i)section 240ZA of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (crediting periods of remand in custody);

(ii)section 240A of that Act (crediting periods of remand on bail subject to certain restrictions);

including the effect of any declaration which the court would have made under section 325 or 327 (specifying periods of remand on bail subject to certain restrictions or in custody pending extradition).

[F5(3)Subsection (2) is subject to the requirement that the minimum term in a serious terrorism case must be at least 14 years.

This is subject to subsections (5) and (6).

(4)A “serious terrorism case” is a case where, but for the fact that the court passes a life sentence, the court would be required by section 268B(2) or 282B(2) to impose a serious terrorism sentence (assuming for this purpose that the court is not of the opinion mentioned in section 268B(2) or 282B(2)).

(5)The minimum term may be less than 14 years if the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances which—

(a)relate to the offence or to the offender, and

(b)justify a lesser period.

(6)The minimum term may be less than 14 years if the court considers it appropriate, taking into account—

(a)the matters mentioned in subsection (2)(c), and

(b)the effect that the following would, if the court had sentenced the offender under section 268B(2) or 282B(2), have had in relation to the appropriate custodial term for that sentence—

(i)section 73 (reductions for guilty pleas), and

(ii)section 74 (reductions for assistance to the prosecution).]

Textual Amendments

F2Words in s. 323(1C)(b) omitted (28.6.2022) by 2020 c. 17, Sch. 22 para. 68A(za) (as inserted by Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 (c. 32), ss. 129(3)(c)(i), 208(1); S.I. 2022/520, reg. 5(n))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 321-324 modified by 2006 c. 52, s. 261A (as inserted (1.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 416(1), Sch. 25 para. 60 (with s. 416(7), Sch. 27); S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2) (as amended (28.6.2022) by Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 (c. 32), ss. 129(2), 208(1); S.I. 2022/520, reg. 5(l))

Commencement Information

I1S. 323 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

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