Democratising punishment: Sentencing, community views and values



Julian V Roberts, Jan W de Keijser

Punishment & Society

October 2014




This essay explores and critiques a theory of criminal justice which privileges the role of public intuitions about punishment over more traditional influences on sentencing principles and practice. This movement may be termed ‘Democratising Punishment’ and it has important consequences for sentencing in all jurisdictions. Several recent books advocate reforms such as deriving sentencing principles from public opinion research or sentencing by juries rather than legal professionals. In the essay we critique this perspective and note the threats to principled sentencing arising from greater public involvement in the sentencing of offenders.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee