What makes an effective sentence?

Aim:

To identify factors that lead to a fair sentence (a fair consequence).

Resources:

The sentencing process:  Fact sheet 5
Sentencing – Factors a court considers:  Fact sheet 6
Moral dilemmas:  Learner activity
How would you decide?  Activity

Sentencing – Who decides?

Courts cannot simply impose what they think is a fair sentence or do what the public may want. They must consider previous cases, laws set by the Parliament, reports and statements from victims.

Group activities

Imagine you are given the job of establishing the rules for sentencing. Discuss what you would do in relation to the following.

  1. Who are the best people to decide in the following situations?
  • Deciding the consequence for an inappropriate act at home.
  • Deciding the consequence for an inappropriate act in the classroom.
  • Deciding a consequence for an inappropriate act in the school.
  • Deciding a consequence for an inappropriate act in the community. 
  1. How should each person be selected?
  2. What factors should they take into account to make sure their consequences (sentences) are fair?
  3. Which group(s) should they be fair to?
  4. Read through Fact sheets 5 and 6 and in groups discuss the situations on the
    Moral dilemmas sheet.
  5. Undertake the ‘How would you decide’ activity.

South Australian Law Courts Education Program