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Sentencing Referencer 2018
Sentencing Referencer 2018
Practice Area:  Criminal Law
ISBN:  9780414065963
Published by:  Sweet & Maxwell
Publication Date:  06 Dec 2017
Subscription Information:  Non-Subscribable Product
Format:  Paperback
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Thomas’ Sentencing Referencer gives authoritative guidance on over 100 different sentencing orders, principles and topics, using a practical A-Z layout for easy navigation and quick answers in and out of court.

The 2018 edition has been revised to incorporate the latest sentencing developments from both statute and case law. This new edition introduces a fully revised Attorney General’s references chapter, as well as including details of the new community order and suspended sentence order pilot schemes and updated guidance on the operation of extended sentences for those under 18.  Also included is further guidance on the “slip rule” and the imposition of behaviour order prohibitions and requirements.  

This new edition:

  • Includes a reference to statute, case law, Sentencing Council Guideline or Practice Direction for each proposition contained within the book.
  • Details almost all the sentencing orders available to the courts, setting out the key points and the conditions which must be satisfied prior to their imposition, with guidance from case law where appropriate.
  • Emphasises the dates from which particular provisions apply.
  • Features a table setting out the key points in relation to all minimum sentences, including the departure tests and guilty plea reduction availability and extent.
  • Contains sections which are structured chronologically, with the text arranged in the order in which the issues are likely to arise during proceedings.
  • Directs readers towards more extensive analysis with cross-references to Archbold and Current Sentencing Practice.
  • Includes details of all sentencing guidelines and the date from which they were in force.
  • Sets out details of the offender of particular concern order with guidance from the Court of Appeal.



Part 1 details the various sentencing orders, procedure, topics and principles.
Part 2 sets out the maximum sentences for the most common indictable offences. 
Part 3 includes the most commonly referred to schedules, such as CJA 2003 Schs.15, 15B and 18A, SOA 2003 Schs.3 and 5 and SCA 2007 Sch.1.
Part 4 includes flow charts and tables for topics such as minimum sentences, guilty plea discounts and driving disqualification.



Sentencing legislation is so voluminous, complex and technical that it has become almost unworkable as a scheme of law and yet it must be used and understood by judges and practitioners on a daily basis. It is vital that it can be properly applied because sentencing represents a crucial step in the criminal justice process: the fair and just determination of a criminal penalty on conviction and the clear, confident declaration of that penalty by the sentencing court.
With legislation that is so impenetrable, it is no surprise that The Referencer which provides such clear and practical guidance has become so well respected and so heavily used by even the most experienced criminal justice practitioner. It contains the essential information that is so hard to find in the legislation itself or elsewhere. These include the all too elusive commencement dates and guidance on avoiding the numerous pitfalls created by the prescriptive obligations on judges when sentencing. The material is presented in an accessible manner with user friendly tables and flow charts. For many, it is quite simply the usual starting point from which they can confidently find a path through the maze of legislation.
The enormity of the task in producing yet another edition is not to be underestimated. This is an area of law renowned for the degree and pace of change. The new edition incorporates numerous legislative and case law developments of the last 12 months. In doing so, Lyndon Harris has maintained the simplicity and clarity which have been a hallmark of The Referencer’s success. The task of revising the text of the undisputed master of the subject—the late great Dr David Thomas QC—is an unenviable one. Lyndon Harris is to be congratulated for producing an edition which maintains the very high standards he set.

Professor David Ormerod QC
Law Commissioner for England and Wales

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