This research program is devoted to enhancing sentencing practices in common law jurisdictions, and improving public knowledge of the sentencing process.
There are several elements to the initiative. First, in conjunction with colleagues from Cambridge, members of the Centre have created a London-based Academy designed to promote greater public and professional understanding of Sentencing. The Sentencing Academy is a research and engagement charitable incorporated organisation dedicated to developing expert and public understanding of sentencing in England and Wales. It encourages the Government to implement effective sentencing practices and informs public debate about sentencing, acting as a bridge between those with expert knowledge of sentencing, the public, and policy makers. Current and former members of the Centre working with the Sentencing Academy include Julian Roberts, Lyndon Harris, Elspeth Windsor and Alpa Parmar. For further information, see https://sentencingacademy.org.uk/
Second, Julian Roberts gives presentations to criminal justice professionals, the judiciary as well as the general public. The goal is to provide advice and research-based information about sentencing and sentencing reform. In 2021 he made presentations to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission (on considering racial disproportionality at sentencing) and also to the Cyprus judiciary (on the role of deterrence when sentencing driving offences). Along with Elspeth Windsor he co-authored a research report on Victim Personal Statements (VPS) in England and Wales. The initiative assists jurisdictions which are introducing or reforming their sentencing regimes.
Finally, there is a component involving scholarly publications. A recent example is a collection of essays exploring sentencing in Canada (Sentencing in Canada. Essays in Law, Policy and Practice. Toronto: Irwin Law) published in 2020. Julian Roberts is currently co-authoring (with A. Freiberg and R. Frase) a volume entitled Sentencing Commissions and Sentencing Guidance: An International and Comparative Perspective to be published the Oxford University Press.