You be the Judge: the Sentencing Council’s new interactive platform launches


On 10 July 2024, Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales; Lord Justice William Davis, the Chairman of the Sentencing Council of England and Wales; and Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara, Diversity and Community Relations Judge, visited King’s Academy Prospect in Reading to launch ‘You be the Judge’ (YBTJ); an interactive platform created by the Sentencing Council, and supported by the Judiciary of England and Wales.

The YBTJ platform aims to increase understanding among young people of how sentencing and sentencing guidelines work, and raise awareness of the role that judges and magistrates play in sentencing.  

This new initiative gives users the opportunity to watch six shortened, dramatised cases related to burglary, fraud, assault, and possession of drugs, a knife, and a firearm. Users of the website will listen to the facts of each case and weigh up the aggravating and mitigating factors before deciding what they think is an appropriate sentence. They will then be able to see how their sentence compares with those handed down by the judge or magistrate.

During Wednesday afternoon’s visit, students watched one of the six videos. Following the video, students had an in-depth discussion about the scenario and shared their views on sentencing more generally. The students then had the chance to ask questions of the judges.

Speaking at the school, Lord Justice William Davies said: “You be the Judge gives the public a unique opportunity to see for themselves how complex the sentencing process is and how sentencing guidelines help judges and magistrates take a consistent approach. Watching the scenarios, people will be able to see how judges and magistrates balance the seriousness of the offence, the impact on the victim, the circumstances of the offender and the need to protect the public in deciding on a proportionate and appropriate sentence.”

Commenting on the new website, the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, said: “The Judiciary of England and Wales supports the Sentencing Council’s new initiative to increase the public’s understanding of how sentencing works. Judges and magistrates make decisions based on the individual circumstances of the cases before them, and You be the Judge is a great way to encourage greater understanding of these decisions.”

All six You be the Judge videos are available to watch on the Sentencing Council website at