‘Without fear or favour, prejudice or ill will’: magistrates’ sentencing decisions
Over 90 per cent of all criminal matters in England and Wales are dealt with in the magistrates’ courts (Ministry of Justice (MOJ) 2009a). This chapter focuses on how magistrates make sentencing decisions, from guidance through to process and outcome. It introduces the magistracy and summarises its role in the judicial system. It includes a review of previous empirical work and presents novel research assessing how magistrates approach their sentencing task.