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
- Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Bill 2014 – see the second reading speech and explanatory notes for details of this Bill.
- Lockouts & mandatory minimums to be introduced to tackle drug and alcohol violence, Media release by Barry O’Farrell , 21 January 2014
- See the newly inserted sections 25A and B of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
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
- Mandatory and guideline: sentencing recent developments by Honor Figgis, NSW Parliamentary briefing paper 18/1998
- Sentencing Law: A review of developments in 1998-2001 by Rowena Johns, NSW Parliamentary briefing paper 2/2002.
Commentary on the new legislation
- 'Mandatory minimum sentences are a legal and judicial muddle' by Richard Ackland, SMH, 7 February 2014
- 'Critics slam mandatory sentencing for drunken crimes', 7.30 Report, Reporter Matt Peacock – read the transcript or listen online includes interview with Nicholas Cowdery, former Director of Public Prosecutions and Jackie Fitzgerald, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
- 'Mandatory sentencing: does it reduce crime?' ABC News: FactCheck, 5 February 2014
- 'Why "one-punch" laws are woefully misguided' by Luke O’Neill, The New Daily, 5 February 2014
- 'Attorney-General Greg Smith on outer over mandatory sentencing laws' by Sean Nicholls, SMH, 3 February 2014
- 'Barry O’Farrell’s new "one-punch laws" will not serve justice' by Andrew Tiedt, The Guardian, 21 January 2014
- 'How we’d stop booze-fuelled violence: top Aussies' The New Daily, 29 January 2014
- 'One-punch laws: mandatory sentences for drunken violence "a recipe for injustice" say NSW legal experts', ABC News, 23 January 2014.
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: