26 Oct

Sentencing Advisory Council – Child Homicide

Criminal lawOn 26 October 2017, the Sentencing Advisory Council received Terms of Reference from the Attorney General regarding the “penalties imposed on sentence for criminal offences arising from the death of a child”  The AG noted that there has been commentary expressing the view that the penalties imposed for these offences may not be meeting the expectations of the community.

In announcing the review the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council noted “In 2015–16, the deaths of 390 children and young people were registered in Queensland. Nine of these children and young people died as a result of suspected or confirmed assault and/or negligence. Six of these children were alleged to have been killed by a family member and two were alleged to have been killed by a non-family member (in one case the relationship had not yet been determined).”

Sentencing Advisory Council Terms of Reference

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will:

  • Consider and analyse penalties currently imposed
  • Determine whether these penalties reflect the particular vulnerabilities of children
  • Identify trend and anomalies in sentences for crimes arising from a child’s death
  • Compare Queensland’s sentencing approach to other Australian jurisdictions
  • Consult with the community and key stakeholders


As part of the review, The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will consult with:

  1. Members of the public;
  2. the judiciary;
  3. legal profession;
  4. victim of crime groups;
  5. child protection advocacy groups; and
  6. relevant government agencies.

Key dates

  1. Preliminary submissions – 3 December 2017:
  2. The consultation paper and further call for submissions – First half 2018:

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is to report back by October 31 2018.

If you need advice regarding a legal matter or legal representation, please contact Gatenby Criminal Law on (07) 55800120 or send us a message online.


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