The legal academia called for sentencing guidelines to be brought in by way of a policy framework as opposed to a specific law.
Lecturer (Probationary) at the Faculty of Law of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Attorney-at-Law Yasoda Wijerathna highlighted that what was required to be prevented was biases such as social, gender and racial based ones coming into play or factoring in when judges in the criminal justice system take decisions, as such was unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
Discussing and analyzing contemporary developments in the domestic criminal justice system, she explained that judicial discretion should be there and should not be restricted.
“What is required is uniformity in sentencing particularly when sentencing concerning cases with similar circumstances,” she added.
“There are guidelines that have been recommended, yet up to date they have not been implemented. The issue is when a judge or judges give two different sentences to two accused parties, where the circumstances of the cases are similar to each other. Here, there is a disparity,” she pointed out.
“The stage of sentencing reflects the underlying rationale of any justice delivery system. Sentencing is not a mechanical process. It is in fact a far more complicated process which ultimately calls forth issues of consistency and fairness in punishment,” she opined. (RLJ)