Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 12:00 to 13:00

Presented by the G+T Centre of Public Law and the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice

Speakers: Justice Chris Maxwell, President of the Court of Appeal (Vic)
Luke McNamara (Commentator)
Gabrielle Appleby (Chair)
When: Thursday, 19 September, 1-2pm.
Where: Boardroom, Level 2, Law Building, UNSW Kensington Campus

RSVP essential: Email tom.chapman@unsw.edu.au
(Lunch included)


Criminal law is public law: the power to punish is the most potent of discretionary powers conferred on public officials. It is appropriate, therefore, that the exercise of this power be scrutinised by reference to public law principles, in particular the requirement that like cases be treated alike.

Paradoxically, Australian sentencing law has rejected mechanisms designed to secure consistency - most notably, sentencing guidelines, comparative tables of cases, and guideline judgments. Primacy is given to the goal of individualised justice, said to require a broad sentencing discretion. The only consistency required is ‘consistency of principle’. This paper will critically examine, by reference to key appellate decisions, the evolution of Australia’s sentencing exceptionalism

Speaker Bio:
Justice Maxwell commenced practice at the Bar in 1984.  He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998.  Justice Maxwell was appointed President of the Court of Appeal in July 2005.