Towards greater consistency in sentencing: Findings from a survey of Belgian magistrates

A. Monsieurs, M. Vanderhallen, J. Rozie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The need for more consistency in sentencing is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in judicial debates in Belgium. The present study examines the desirability and the possibility of enhancing consistency in sentencing in Belgium. As in many other countries, Belgian magistrates possess very wide discretion in sentencing. Like most other continental magistrates, however, Belgian magistrates have no sentencing guidelines or other helpful documents at their disposal. In order to gain insight into the possibility of implementing sentencing guidelines, the opinion of magistrates regarding increased consistency in sentencing was explored. Do magistrates perceive that there are inconsistencies in sentencing? What do they think about consistency in sentencing? These and other questions were asked in a survey distributed among Flemish magistrates. The findings of this exploratory study reveal that Flemish magistrates have a positive attitude towards consistency in sentencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • consistency
  • opinion research
  • sentencing
  • sentencing guidelines

Cite this

@article{f7590bae20cf4722b072ae226833307d,
title = "Towards greater consistency in sentencing: Findings from a survey of Belgian magistrates",
abstract = "The need for more consistency in sentencing is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in judicial debates in Belgium. The present study examines the desirability and the possibility of enhancing consistency in sentencing in Belgium. As in many other countries, Belgian magistrates possess very wide discretion in sentencing. Like most other continental magistrates, however, Belgian magistrates have no sentencing guidelines or other helpful documents at their disposal. In order to gain insight into the possibility of implementing sentencing guidelines, the opinion of magistrates regarding increased consistency in sentencing was explored. Do magistrates perceive that there are inconsistencies in sentencing? What do they think about consistency in sentencing? These and other questions were asked in a survey distributed among Flemish magistrates. The findings of this exploratory study reveal that Flemish magistrates have a positive attitude towards consistency in sentencing.",
keywords = "consistency, opinion research, sentencing, sentencing guidelines",
author = "A. Monsieurs and M. Vanderhallen and J. Rozie",
year = "2011",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1477370810381665",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "6--16",
journal = "European Journal of Criminology",
issn = "1477-3708",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

Towards greater consistency in sentencing: Findings from a survey of Belgian magistrates. / Monsieurs, A.; Vanderhallen, M.; Rozie, J.

In: European Journal of Criminology, Vol. 8, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 6-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Towards greater consistency in sentencing: Findings from a survey of Belgian magistrates

AU - Monsieurs, A.

AU - Vanderhallen, M.

AU - Rozie, J.

PY - 2011/1/1

Y1 - 2011/1/1

N2 - The need for more consistency in sentencing is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in judicial debates in Belgium. The present study examines the desirability and the possibility of enhancing consistency in sentencing in Belgium. As in many other countries, Belgian magistrates possess very wide discretion in sentencing. Like most other continental magistrates, however, Belgian magistrates have no sentencing guidelines or other helpful documents at their disposal. In order to gain insight into the possibility of implementing sentencing guidelines, the opinion of magistrates regarding increased consistency in sentencing was explored. Do magistrates perceive that there are inconsistencies in sentencing? What do they think about consistency in sentencing? These and other questions were asked in a survey distributed among Flemish magistrates. The findings of this exploratory study reveal that Flemish magistrates have a positive attitude towards consistency in sentencing.

AB - The need for more consistency in sentencing is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in judicial debates in Belgium. The present study examines the desirability and the possibility of enhancing consistency in sentencing in Belgium. As in many other countries, Belgian magistrates possess very wide discretion in sentencing. Like most other continental magistrates, however, Belgian magistrates have no sentencing guidelines or other helpful documents at their disposal. In order to gain insight into the possibility of implementing sentencing guidelines, the opinion of magistrates regarding increased consistency in sentencing was explored. Do magistrates perceive that there are inconsistencies in sentencing? What do they think about consistency in sentencing? These and other questions were asked in a survey distributed among Flemish magistrates. The findings of this exploratory study reveal that Flemish magistrates have a positive attitude towards consistency in sentencing.

KW - consistency

KW - opinion research

KW - sentencing

KW - sentencing guidelines

U2 - 10.1177/1477370810381665

DO - 10.1177/1477370810381665

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 6

EP - 16

JO - European Journal of Criminology

JF - European Journal of Criminology

SN - 1477-3708

IS - 1

ER -