SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: In 2003, the UK Parliament introduced a presumptive minimum sentencing scheme for the offence of murder. Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003sought to achieve greater consistency in the setting of minimum terms of imprisonment, while also providing a clear directive to judges on the need to punish and deter particularly aggravating contexts of intentional lethal violence. This article critically analyses the effects of this approach to sentencing, with 10 years' hindsight, and considers whether the continued imposition of a presumptive minimum sentencing scheme is in the best interests of justice. To examine the impacts of the 2003 Act, the article draws on interviews conducted with 26 English legal practitioners. It concludes that the introduction of a sentencing guideline for murder, alongside the repeal of Schedule 21, would better align sentencing practices for murder with those of other serious offences while also arguably allowing for more proportionate sentences to be applied on an individual case-by-case basis.
Abstract: Restorative justice has been the subject of much theoretical criminological debate and policy innovation. However, little consideration has been given explicitly to issues of temporality and the challenges they raise. Yet, at its heart, restorative justice provides a rearticulated understanding of the relationship between the past and future; one that seeks to marry otherwise tense and ambiguous dynamics of instrumental and moral reasoning, along with risk-based and punitive logics. This article explores a number of dimensions in which questions of time, timing and time-consciousness are implicated in conceptions and practices of restorative justice. It highlights the social, plural and contested nature of time and temporalizations with relevance to restorative justice. It points to new lines of enquiry and analysis with inferences for the implementation of restorative values and conceptions of justice. It concludes with reflections on the multiple temporalities inferred in shifts of scale in the application of restorative justice.