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Sentencing of federal offenders in Australia: a guide for practitioners

About the Guide

This guide is published by the office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), a statutory authority of the Commonwealth of Australia established under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (Cth).

The guide outlines the law relating to the sentencing of federal offenders in Australia (that is, persons being dealt with for offences against the laws of the Commonwealth).

This publication is a response to requests for a nationally-focused document, to assist CDPP lawyers, other legal practitioners, judicial officers, court staff, and others who deal with the sentencing of federal offenders throughout Australia. It is intended that it will be updated periodically.

The guide is available electronically(1) from the CDPP website


This guide was written by Desmond Lane of the Victorian Bar and settled by CDPP. It incorporates text from an earlier CDPP publication, Federal Sentencing in Victoria, but most of the text in this guide is new or substantially revised.

The earlier publication, Federal Sentencing in Victoria, which was originally written in the early 1990s by Mark Pedley, then Deputy Director in the Melbourne office of CDPP, and was revised and updated by lawyers in the Melbourne office over many years. The work of Mark Pedley, Shane Kirne, Lisa West, Aman Dhillon, Olive Go, Sally Manser, Shelly Campbell and Maddison Belot in relation to the foundational Victorian paper is gratefully acknowledged.

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1 : In the electronic version, symbols such as brackets, backslashes and letters/numbers appear in the footnotes to the text. These are Microsoft coding artefacts which allow auto updating of footnote citations/ cross - references when changes to the Guide are made.

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