In 2006 the Law Commission produced a report, Sentencing Guidelines and Parole Reform (NZLC R94), which recommended the establishment of a Sentencing Council in New Zealand. Those recommendations were given effect to by the then administration, principally by the Sentencing Council Act 2007.
When the present administration took office after the 2008 General Election, it determined that it would not proceed with the establishment of a Sentencing Council. The relevant Act is still in force but the Council has not been constituted.
The Commission had, amongst other things, undertaken research into how maximum penalties might be conceptualised and dealt with. That subset of sentencing law has always been, and will continue to be, a difficult one. This research was conducted by Dr Warren Young, the then Deputy President of the Law Commission, and Yvette Tinsley, a Reader in Law at Victoria University of Wellington. The Commission is grateful to them for all the work they did.
The Commission itself does not make any recommendations on this Study Paper. However, the value of the research should not be lost. The Commission has thought it appropriate to publish this paper, for such assistance as it may provide to other researchers and advisers in the future.
Sir Grant Hammond