4.1        A number of themes have emerged in preliminary consultations with stakeholders in this Inquiry about the impact of sentencing provisions and practices on the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants in the criminal justice system including that:

  • judicial discretion should be maximised in sentencing matters;

  • there may be significant benefits to sentencing courts if the quality of material put before them, as well as sentencing options available to them, are enhanced or increased; and

  • some of the following issues affect not only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants, but all defendants.

4.2        In this chapter, the ALRC asks a number of questions designed to elicit further information about sentencing provisions and practices including on mandatory sentencing, the impact of short sentences of imprisonment, and flexibility in tailoring sentences. The ALRC also makes a proposal about community-based sentencing options.