Consultations

SAP:  The Sentencing Advisory Panel (SAP) has published two new consultation papers.
 
In the first, consultation paper (closes 6 December 2007) the SAP is calling for greater consistency in sentencing for fraud offences. It feels that comprehensive guidelines are needed as few fraud offences are covered by existing guideline judgments and new offences were introduced by the Fraud Act 2006, which came into force on 15 January 2007.
 
Boundaries between the offences - both old and new - sometimes overlap and conduct may fall within more than one offence provision.  In these circumstances, the Panel has based its proposals on the type of fraudulent behaviour rather than the particular offence that might have been charged.
 
To promote consistency in sentencing for similar types of fraudulent behaviour, the Panel is consulting on one comprehensive guideline for sentencing various frauds against institutions.  These include tax fraud, benefit fraud, insurance fraud, bank account fraud and payment card fraud.  Separate guidelines are proposed for ‘confidence tricks’ and also for possessing, making or supplying articles for use in fraud.
 
In the second consultation (closes 9 November 2007), the Sentencing Advisory Panel is looking at sentencing for breach of an Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO).  The number of ASBOs has increased considerably since the order first became available in 1999, and the courts now regularly face the task of sentencing an offender for breach.
 
Guidelines are needed to ensure that the approach to sentencing is proportionate & consistent.  The range of prohibitions that can be attached to an order is very wide and therefore many types of behaviour may constitute a breach.
 
The consultation paper summarises existing guidance about the making of an order before considering the approach to sentencing for breach.  One key issue is the degree to which the original conduct that led to the making of the order is relevant when sentencing for breach.
Press release ~ Sentencing Advisory Panel ~ Consultation paper on sentencing for fraud offences ~ Consultation paper on sentencing for breach of an Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO) ~ Sentencing Guidelines Council

Scottish Executive: The Health and Wellbeing Secretary for Scotland has launched a nationwide discussion document 'Better Health, Better Care' (closes on November 12 2007)to inform the development of the new Scottish government's health and wellbeing action plan, to be published by the end of this year.
 
The new Action Plan will seek to accelerate the process of change set out in the 2005 'Building a Health Service: Fit for the Future' document. 

Press release ~ Better Health, Better Care: A Discussion Document ~ Hea lth improvement action plan video ~ Building a Health Service: Fit for the Future ~ NHS Quality Improvement Scotland: Shifting the Focus ~ NHS Scotland ~ InfoScotland: Healthier Scotland ~ Scottish Executive: Health and Community care

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