1. The Justice Select Committee receives draft
sentencing guidelines produced by the Sentencing Guidelines Council
for consideration. The Committee usually provides comments on
draft guidelines to the Sentencing Guidelines Council in the form
of a letter, published on our website; where we consider that
a draft guideline raises major issues we report to the House.
2. The draft sentencing guideline Overarching
principles-sentencing youths is a crucial sentencing guideline.
It fills a critical gap, setting out for youth courts the basis
upon which they should sentence offenders under the age of 18.
Youth courts have not previously had sentencing guidelines setting
out such principles. We therefore wish to draw the House's attention
to this guideline, the evidence received and our comments to the
Sentencing Guidelines Council.
3. We took oral evidence on this topic from the
Standing Committee for Youth Justice, the Children's Rights Alliance
for England, the Youth Justice Board, the Magistrates' Association,
Barnardo's and Nacro in addition to receiving a variety of written
evidence (see list at page 8). We would like to thank all those
who submitted written material or gave oral evidence.
4. Our evidence on this draft sentencing guideline
highlighted key areas in relation to youth justice deserving of
further scrutiny, such as the use of remand and provisions for
offenders aged 18-24. We will consider how to pursue these areas
further in our work.