Speech by Lord Burnett of Maldon, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales – Sentencing: The Judge’s Role

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The Lord Burnett of Maldon has given a lecture at the Judicial Institute in which he said: “Were the mythical alien to arrive on earth and, I grant you yet more improbably, take an interest in sentencing in England and Wales by reading the newspapers and dipping into the more noisy parts of on-line media, it would soon gain the impression that sentencing had got softer in recent years. It would read about “wet, liberal judges being soft on criminals” and wonder why criminals convicted of serious offences were getting more lenient sentences than they used to. Then our alien visitor might seek some other sources of information, and if possessed of a brow it might become furrowed.

“There is a difficulty with this narrative. It is a myth.”

Read his full speech to find out what else he had to say.