Release of Sentencing Advisory Council Final Report on Prejudice and Discrimination as Aggravating Factors in Sentencing

Guy Barnett, Attorney General

The Tasmanian Government has today welcomed the Sentencing Advisory Council’s Final Report on its review of the scope of section 11B of the Sentencing Act 1997 (the Act), which was released today.

Section 11B presently requires a Court, when determining the appropriate sentence for an offender, to take hatred, or prejudice on racial grounds into account as an aggravating circumstance.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Guy Barnett, said since its inclusion into the Act in 2017, there have been various calls for section 11B to recognise a range of other aggravating circumstances.

“Today, in modern Tasmania, there is absolutely no space for discrimination in our tolerant, thriving and multicultural society,” the Attorney-General said.

“That is why at the start of last year the Government sought guidance from the Council to conduct a review of section 11B to:

  1. examine its scope and use by the Tasmanian courts;
  2. undertake a comparative analysis of relevant provisions in other Australian jurisdictions; and
  3. examine whether the scope of the provision could be expanded to include additional circumstances, such as religion, language, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, innate variations of sex characteristics, age, a particular physical disability or cognitive impairment, or a mental illness.

“The Government will now carefully consider the recommendations made in the Council’s report to better safeguard these vulnerable groups in Tasmania.

“Tasmania is at its best when we embrace our multicultural society – and as we continue to deliver our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future there is absolutely no place for discrimination.

“I would like to thank all the stakeholders, the Council, and interested community members who contributed their feedback on the consultation paper and community forum held last year, as this provided valuable input to inform the Council’s advice to the Government.”

A copy of the final report and further information about the Council may be found on its website at www.sentencingcouncil.tas.gov.au.

/Public Release. View in full here.