In the Media

Judicial response to the publication of the Attorney General?s unduly lenient referral statistics

PUBLISHED July 5, 2012

The President of the Queen's Bench Division and Deputy Head of Criminal Justice, Sir John Thomas, has responded to the statistics released today by the Attorney General's Office. These statistics report the number of cases where the Attorney General asked the Court of Appeal to decide whether a sentence imposed by the Crown Court was unduly lenient.

Sir John Thomas said:

"These statistics show that, as in previous years, the number of sentences found to be unduly lenient is very low. In 2011 the Attorney or Solicitor General asked the Court of Appeal to consider 117 sentences across just 78 cases. Sentences were increased in 64 cases, a tiny fraction of the number dealt with in the Crown Court each year. "As ever it is important to note that sentencing can often be a complicated process which requires judges to weigh a wide range of factors. It is right that the Attorney and Solicitor General are able to review some of these sentences and then ask the Court of Appeal to reconsider them."