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‘The community has been misled’: Chief judge says mandatory sentencing doesn’t exist

Victoria’s chief judge has slammed mandatory sentencing, saying there is no such thing.

County Court Chief Justice Peter Kidd told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell the public has been deceived when it comes to so-called mandatory sentencing laws.

“The laws that you’re talking about, they are not mandatory,” he said.

“Unfortunately there is commentary out there which suggests they are.

“The community has been misled about what these laws are.”

Justice Kidd explained that exceptions to so-called mandatory sentencing stem from parliament, not the discretion of judges.

“We don’t invent exceptions or special circumstances to mandatory sentencing. We’ve got an act, it’s called the Sentencing Act. It’s a complex document, in fact, it runs to nearly 500 pages, and … the emergency services sentencing provisions, there are a number of explicit and carefully marked out exceptions to the six month imprisonment term.

“Parliament made those exceptions, not judges. When it comes to a judge, a judge is duty bound to apply that law and to consider those special reasons.”

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