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Rewriting the law on sentencing

Transforming a vital aspect of criminal law

Building of the Central Criminal Court in London

During a period as Criminal Law Commissioner (2010–19), Professor David Ormerod (now Director of the Criminal Law Centre) oversaw the preparation of a new sentencing code, replacing a highly complex patchwork of laws with a single point of reference. The Sentencing Act 2020, which achieved this transformation, was given Royal Assent on 22 October 2020. 

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland QC said: ‘This is a generational moment. As a former Recorder, I know how hard it can be for judges and practitioners to apply such complex laws. The new Sentencing Code will help provide much needed clarity, reducing errors and restoring faith that the law is being applied correctly.’

Professor Ormerod also advised on the new non-fatal strangulation offence in the Domestic Abuse Bill 2021 as recognised by the Minister and Lords Marks and Anderson in debates.

Professor Ormerod has taught on almost every criminal judicial training course since 2004 – well over 100 such courses. In recognition of his contribution to the criminal justice system, Professor Ormerod was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2021.