The aim of the debate is to influence the forthcoming review of sentencing guidelines for serious driving offences, announced by the Government last year. Officials from the Sentencing Council, who will conduct the review, will attend the debate.
CTC has been told that this review will cover all causing death by driving and dangerous driving offences, but that a start date cannot be confirmed until after the Government has conducted its own review of driving offences and penalties, which, according to the Justice Minister, Chris Grayling, is due to take place ‘over the next few months’.
The expert panellists taking part in the debate will present their different perspectives on the efficacy (or inability) of the criminal courts and sentencing practice to ensure offending drivers are brought to justice and a clear message is sent to the public that bad driving is not tolerated. They will be asked to propose ideas on how to improve sentencing so that it achieves these goals.
The panellists taking come from academia, the legal profession, and the judiciary. They are:
– Cheryl Thomas, Professor of Judicial Studies at University College London and Director of the UCL Jury Project and Judicial Institute;
– Sally Kyd Cunningham, Professor of Law at the University of London and specialist in road traffic offences;
– Joseph Giret QC, a highly regarded criminal defence specialist;
– Simeon Maskrey QC, a Deputy High Court Judge and Recorder of the Crown Court;
– Chris Brace, Chief Executive at the Magistrates Association;
CTC’s ambassador, Martin Porter QC, aka The Cycling Silk, will open the debate.
Recommendations to improve sentencing
The recommendations to improve sentencing, proposed by CTC in its newly published report, ‘Road Justice: The Courts and Sentencing’, will also be discussed at the debate.
CTC is calling for the worst offenders to be given long and lifetime driving bans in addition to custodial sentences, whereas those who do not drive deliberately dangerously or engage in willful risk-taking should be given non-custodial sentences with an emphasis on driving bans.
CTC also wants judges to undergo specialist training in road traffic law and cycle safety issues to avoid blaming victims for their misfortune and wants to see the vulnerability of cyclists and pedestrians reflected in sentencing guidelines.
Join the debate
The debate will take place between 09:00 and 11:00 on Friday 13th June. Although the event is invitation only, CTC is inviting those interested in this area of criminal justice toparticipate in the debate live on Twitter and to submit questions to the panellists using #CTCdebate.
Those unable to get involved on the day or who don’t use Twitter can email questions prior to the event to [email protected]
CTC has a limited number of spaces available to watch the debate as it is streamed live online. If you would like to reserve a place, please send an email to[email protected]