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Publication of Sentencing Data Research Report

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The Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee of the Judicial Council (SGIC) is pleased to publish its first comprehensive research report: Strathclyde Final Report.pdf

The research was commissioned to assist it in relation to the sentencing data essential to support its statutory function of preparing sentencing guidelines for judges. The committee welcomes the report and accepts its recommendations, which it will seek to implement where possible. The report highlights a wider sectoral issue in accessing and collating data which will require further work and collaboration.

It is intended that a formal launch of the report, including discussion by members of the research team, will take place early in 2023.


The SGIC recognised that meaningful sentencing guidelines are contingent on an in-depth, empirically grounded understanding of sentencing practice. It entered into a contract with the University of Strathclyde for the purpose of a project entitled “Assessing Methodological Approaches to Sentencing Data Collection and Analysis”. This original research was commissioned to provide an analysis of existing methodologies for sentencing data collection in Ireland, as well as an evaluation of the utility of methodologies employed in other jurisdictions in assisting the work of the Committee. The University conducted research on methodologies for gathering, synthesising and analysing sentencing data which will assist the Committee in the discharge of its functions.

The University's research team is as follows

Professor Cyrus Tata, Centre for Law, Crime & Justice, Law School University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Tom O’Malley, National University of Ireland at Galway, and Barrister, Ireland Professor

Julian Roberts, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Oxford, and former Member of the Sentencing Council of England & Wales

Dr Jay Gormley, Centre for Law, Crime & Justice, Law School University of Strathclyde, Scotland (now of University of Glasgow)

Professor Cassia Spohn, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, USA.


Further information in relation to the SGIC research is here