Adult Court Bench Book and Pronouncement Cards for magistrates

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The Adult Court Bench Book provides guidance for magistrates who sit in the adult court dealing mainly with defendants aged 18 or over. It is used for reference at court and to support consistent training.

The Bench Book is supplemented by national sentencing guidelines, checklists and pronouncement cards. These help magistrates undertake the task of decision making in a fair and structured manner. The Adult Court Pronouncement Cards assist magistrates to explain their decisions fully and clearly.

The latest edition of the Adult Court Pronouncement Cards (dated January 2023) includes amendments to the pronouncements for sexual risk and sexual harm prevention orders and remands to youth detention. New cards have been added to cover the recently introduced hare coursing provisions.

These updates will be the last occasion the pronouncement cards are updated in their PDF format. From 1 April 2023, the pronouncements will only be available online via the Pronouncement Builder on the Sentencing Council website.