Area of Law – Sentencing

An Article about Offences committed in another jurisdiction – totality principle

Offences committed in another jurisdiction – totality principle in criminal law
This applies if you have committed offences interstate, and have been sentenced there to a period of imprisonment, and, you still have matters outstanding in Victoria, that you are then brought down to face a penalty for.

As a simple matter of fairness to the accused you should be treated as if it occurred in the one jurisdiction.

The case law on this matter is as follows;

Judge should consider what the effective head sentence would likely have been imposed, if the accused had committed all offences in one jurisdiction, and been sentenced at the same time.

Mill v The Queen 166 CLR 59 *

Chief Justice Street said

“Where there has been a lengthy postponement whether due to an interstate sentence or otherwise, fairness to the prisoner requires weight to be given to the progress of his rehabilitation during the term of his earlier sentence , to the circumstance that he has been left in a state of uncertain suspense as to what will happen to him when in due course he comes up for sentence on that subsequent occasion, and to the fact that sentencing for a stale crime, long after the committing of the offences, calls for a considerable measure of understanding and flexibility of approach- passage of time between offence and sentence, when lengthy, will often lead to considerations of fairness to the prisoner in his present situation playing a dominant role in the determination of what should be done in the matter of sentence; at times this can require what might otherwise be a quite undue degree of leniency being extended to the prisoner. ”

R V Todd (1982) 2NSWLR 517 at 519 *


Date: 09/01/2009