Sentencing Guidence and Press Contact Following Riots

Richard Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Could you please release:

1. Any formal or informal sentencing guidance issued following the widespread public disorder and criminality of August 2011. I am interested in any relevant material sent from government (civil servants, or ministers) intended to reach the judiciary and magistrates.

2. Any "circulars" sent to journalists alerting them to court cases / sessions related to the widespread public disorder and criminality of August 2011. By circulars I mean messages sent to a group of recipients, as opposed to direct individual communications with specific journalists.

I would like this request to be considered as a request for information held by the Ministry of Justice centrally and by the courts service.



Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A Guardian article mentions the existence of sentencing advice:

"The sentencing advice from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service came to light after the chair of Camberwell Green magistrates court, Novello Noades, claimed that the court had been given a government "directive" that anyone involved in the rioting be given a custodial sentence. She later retracted her statement and said she was mortified to have used the term "directive".

Clarifying what had occurred, HMCTS explained that a senior clerk had circulated instructions to court clerks that they should advise magistrates to consider disregarding normal sentencing guidelines.

Hopefully these "instructions" will be among the information released in response to this request.

Symonds, Paul,

1 Attachment

Dear Richard

Please see the attached response to your FOI, I am sending this on behalf of Jonathan Wood.


Paul Symonds
HMCTS Chief Executive's Office
Area 8.42
Petty France, SW1H 9AJ
0203 334 5120

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The Guardian are reporting they also made a request for the advice and have published an article following its release:

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