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Mandatory minimum sentences introduced to tackle drug and alcohol violence

The Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Act 2014 NSW passed both houses of Parliament last week, received Royal Assent and commenced operation on 31 January 2014.  This legislation was introduced as a measure to curb the alcohol-fuelled violence in certain parts of Sydney and to deter others from violent outbursts such as the incident that resulted in the death of teenager Daniel Christie in early January.

Find out more about this legislation

One of the most controversial aspects of this legislation is the eight-year mandatory minimum sentence for those convicted under this new 'one-punch law' where the offender is intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol, plus new mandatory minimum sentences for violent assaults where the offender is intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol.

Mandatory sentencing laws by Lenny Roth, e-Brief 1/2-014, NSW Parliamentary Research Service, January 2014 – you will find an overview that covers:

  • mandatory sentencing – what is it?
  • arguments for and against mandatory sentencing
  • existing laws in NSW
  • proposed laws in NSW
  • comments on proposed laws
  • laws in other states
  • High Court decision about mandatory sentencing

Historical overview of mandatory sentencing

Commentary on the new legislation

We have created a new page on mandatory sentencing in our Research Guide Crime: HSC Legal Studies.  

For other information on the background to this new legislation see: