Indications on sentence
Indications on sentence

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Indications on sentence
  • Procedure for indication on sentence
  • The defence
  • The prosecution
  • The judge
  • Consequences of an indication on sentence

Judicial independence is fundamental to the rule of law. The integrity of the criminal justice system depends on a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal. Alongside these fundamental principles exists the need to ensure justice is carried out expeditiously and there is a recognised need for plea negotiations to take place. An advance indication as to likely sentence is part of this process. The Attorney General's guidelines on the acceptance of pleas emphasises the importance of transparency in the conduct of justice and, in particular, sets out a formalised process for the provision of indications on sentence in the Crown Court. These are generally known as 'Goodyear indications'.

The Court of Appeal issued guidelines that amount to the introduction of a formalised procedure of advance sentence indication in R v Goodyear. These are now contained in the Criminal Practice Directions—consolidated up to amendment No 10, CPD VII Sentencing C: Indications on sentence in force on 13 May 2020.

Procedure for indication on sentence

Goodyear indications must be conducted in open court—there should be no discussion in the judge's chambers about possible sentences and there should be no indication that a plea could make the difference between a custodial and non-custodial sentence.

Both parties will be represented and the hearing should be transcribed so there is a record of it.

Any reference to the hearing

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