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Sentencing Advisory Council

Phasing out of Suspended Sentences

The phasing out of suspended sentences was a key election policy of the Liberal Government.


In order to progress this initiative the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Hon Dr Vanessa Goodwin MLC, referred the matter to the Sentencing Advisory Council, asking the Council to thoroughly explore the law, identify options for reform and engage the legal and wider community in the debate.

Terms of Reference


The Council has undertaken extensive research in line with the terms of reference and recently sought feedback from the public to inform the final stage of its work on this project.

As part of this consultation process the Council prepared two documents to assist interested individuals and organisations in making informed comment.

Background paper

The Background paper provides a comprehensive background in relation to the use of suspended sentences in Tasmania. It examines Tasmania's current use of suspended sentences, Tasmania's current use of other sentencing options, and researches other legislative approaches to suspended sentencing options both in Australia and overseas. The background paper is intended as a companion report to the consultation paper and so does not provide any views or recommendations.

Consultation paper

The Consultation paper sets out the Council's preliminary views and draft recommendations following its deliberations on issues surrounding the approach to be taken to the phasing out of suspended sentences in Tasmania, and possible replacement sanctions.

These papers are still available for information and interest. However, please note that the period for consultation closed on 2 October 2015 .

Final report

The Council released its Final Report No. 6: Phasing out of Suspended Sentences (pdf, 4.7 MB) on 30 March 2016.

Council released at the same time a specialist report examining the cost of alternative sentencing options. This report has been used to inform relevant areas of the final report.

Exploring the Costs of Alternatives to Suspended Sentences in Tasmania
(docx, 1.7 MB)