Sanctions and remedies
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Sanctions and remedies book
This chapter looks at sentencing in criminal law ﬁrst, and then moves on to remedies in the tort of negligence.
Sentencing is an outcome of the criminal justice process. As a subject of broader study, it includes elements of theory, politics, judicial reasoning and practical application of law. In the law and order debate there is no greater ‘political football’ than sentencing, and the policy in this area is under constant review and subject to the moods and obsessions of the day. Newspapers, in particular, are keen to pick up on sentences that appear either too harsh or too soft. The recent creation of the Ministry of Justice, which means that a Government department is now responsible both for the judiciary and for prisons, brings forward the prospect of conﬂicts of interest; it will surely not be long before the media are reporting that judges are under pressure to avoid custodial sentences, where possible, to avoid prison overcrowding (a conﬂict perhaps pre-empted by the comments of the Lord Chief Justice in the recent joined cases of Seed and Stark, 2007, below at p 301). The area of sentencing is therefore a fascinating area of study, and one that is rarely off the front page.