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The Chief Justice Launches The Sentencing Policy Guidelines

The Hon. Chief Justice, Dr. Willy Mutunga, D.Jur, SC, EGH launched the Sentencing Policy Guidelines for judges and magistrates on 25th January, 2016.

These guidelines were developed by a Task Force which was appointed in the year 2014 through Gazette Notice No. 4087. Its mandate was to review the past sentencing patterns and policies and recommend how to reduce unwarranted disparity and promote proportionality in passing judgment. The Task Force, chaired by Hon. Justice Msagha Mbogholi, has recommended interventions that include educating and engaging the public and other stakeholders on the sentencing system and its effectiveness.

The Sentencing Policy Guidelines are divided into the following five parts:

i. Part I sets out the introduction, the principles underpinning sentencing and its objectives.

ii. Part II provides information on the penal sanctions available and policy directions on the application of each penal sanction.

iii. Part III identifies categories of offenders requiring further consideration and guides the courts on aspects to be taken into account when dealing with children, offenders with disability and terminal or mental illnesses; and elderly and female offenders.

iv. Part IV sets out the players involved in the sentencing process and the mode of the sentencing hearing. This part sets out mitigating and aggravating circumstances and guides courts on how to determine the actual length and mode of custodial or non-custodial sentences to be imposed.

v. Part V recognises the contribution of the different agencies in the criminal justice system towards meeting the objectives of the sentencing regime.

You can find the full policy document here.

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