Knowledge and Resource Hub
21 January 2019

Sentencing for criminal offences arising from the death of a child: Final report

This report presents the findings of the Queensland Sentence Advisory Council's review of penalties for criminal offences arising from the death of a child; focusing on murder and manslaughter offences. Submissions and consultations revealed that these offences were found to be of most concern to the community. The report includes an in-depth discussion of relevant issues including the nature and extent of child homicide, child homicide offences, the current sentencing process and appropriateness of sentencing, approaches in other jurisdictions, public opinion and understanding of sentencing, and the experiences of victims of crime with the legal process. The report provides eight recommendations to improve the current system including legislative changes to expand the definition of murder to include reckless indifference to human life and the introduction of an aggravating factor to manslaughter of a child under 12, which will increase the length of sentences. Also the QSAC included recommendations to respond better to the needs of family members of victims.