Date lodged: 19 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government on what dates since May 2016 the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has instructed the Scottish Sentencing Council to prepare or review sentencing guidelines, broken down by offence.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 2 April 2019
The Scottish Ministers cannot instruct the Sentencing Council to prepare or review sentencing guidelines.
Under section 7 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, the Scottish Ministers may request the Council to prepare sentencing guidelines or to review existing guidelines. The Council must have regard to any request made by the Scottish Ministers, but are not obliged to agree to any request. The Council must consult with, amongst other parties, the Scottish Ministers as they develop their business plan. The Scottish Ministers are pleased the Council indicated in their latest business plan that they will be preparing guidelines on sexual offences with this work being included as part of the business plan without the need for a formal request by the Scottish Ministers.