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Sentencing Advisory Council

About the Sentencing Advisory Council

The Sentencing Advisory Council was established on 29 June 2010 by the then Attorney-General, Hon Lara Giddings MP, as an advisory body on matters concerning sentencing in Tasmania.  The Council provides the Attorney-General with high-level independent advice on sentencing in Tasmania to:

  • assist the Attorney-General make decisions relating to sentencing matters
  • improve the quality and availability of information on sentencing in Tasmania, and
  • educate the public about sentencing matters.

This involves a range of tasks including undertaking research and analysis on specific sentencing matters, providing advice, recommendations and/or reports to the Attorney-General on sentencing matters, obtaining community opinion on sentencing matters, and publishing information on such matters.

The Council often undertakes a project following a specific referral from the Attorney-General. However, the Council may undertake a research project on its own motion following discussion with the Attorney.


Council members are chosen to represent a unique and balanced perspective on the sentencing process from an excellent knowledge base.  The Council includes a chairperson, three community members, and nominees from the legal profession, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the University of Tasmania and the Legal Aid Commission.

Members are not paid sitting fees and provide their expertise and service voluntarily.

The current members are:

Michael O'Farrell SC (Chair)

Michael has practiced law since 1984.  He graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1983, and commenced his legal career in the Crown Law Department, undertaking criminal prosecutions, civil matters and providing advice.  He moved to private practice at Dobson Mitchell and Allport in 1986, and became a partner of the firm in 1990, working mainly in commercial litigation, administrative law and employment.

In 2002 he commenced practice as a barrister at Malthouse Chambers.  He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2009.  In 2014 he was appointed as Solicitor-General of Tasmania.  He retired from that position in December 2021, before returning to the bar in March 2022.

Michael has appeared in a considerable range of cases before Tasmanian courts and tribunals, the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court.  He has held a variety of positions in the service of the law, including President of the Tasmanian Bar from 2011 to 2013. He has been a member of the Board of Legal Education since 2010.

Mr Vincenzo Caltabiano

Vincenzo was appointed Director of the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania on 13 May 2019 for a five-year term.

Vincenzo commenced practice in Victoria in 1991 and has 17 years' experience as a private practitioner, including 7 years in his own firm with the focus on family Law and Criminal Law.

Vincenzo spent almost 11 years at Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) in a range of roles.  He spent 7 years in the Criminal Law Program, including as a duty lawyer, was Manager of the Advocacy Team, and was the inaugural Summary Crime Program Manager.

Vincenzo has experience in conducting complex indictable and summary crime matters.  He conducted the Review of VLA Legal Aid Child Protection Legal Services, and was later appointed Associate Director, Child Protection Transformation at VLA.

Vincenzo is President Elect of the Australia New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL), and past President of ANZAPPL (Victoria).

Vincenzo is appointed as  a member  who has experience with legal aid in Tasmania.

Ms Rosalie Martin

Speech pathologist, Criminologist and Facilitator, Rosalie (Rosie) Martin is the founder of Connect42.

Rosie has expertise in the processes of language acquisition and in the processing and production of the speech sounds. These skills underpin the development of personal pro-social agency and literacy. Rosie has been bringing this understanding to work with men and women at Tasmania’s Risdon Prison. As a result, many of the people in her programs have learned to read in a matter of months, and have gained insights into the attitudes and skills underlying relational security in parenting. Her work is showing how many lives, currently on hold in prison, can be transformed, and in 2017 her work in helping prisoners crack the code of reading was recognised when she was awarded Tasmanian Australian of the Year.

Rosie also runs her own private speech pathology practice, bringing professional services to children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and language-literacy disorders. She keenly feels the privilege of having been trusted in therapy for more than 35 years by vulnerable children, their families, and other individuals.

In 2015, Rosie completed accreditation as a Facilitator for the Centre for Courage & Renewal. She holds retreats and other events to bring this wholehearted work of courage development to leaders and others. She also completed Criminology Honours in 2016 and has plans to complete a PhD in Criminology.

Ms Martin is appointed as a member who has broad experience in community issues affecting the courts.

Mr Peter Dixon

Peter is a retired Magistrate. He was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1969 and appointed a Magistrate in September 1986.  He also sat as a Magistrate in the Northern Territory for 6 months in 2005. He retired in December 2012.

Peter was previously on the Council of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, regional convenor of the Judicial College of Australia and a member of the Standing Committee on the Reform of the Criminal Law and Procedure. He is a past President of the Tasmanian Bar Association and the Australian Association of Magistrates. He is still actively involved in legal education with The Centre for Legal Studies-the Legal Practice Course.

Mr Dixon is appointed as a member who has broad experience in community issues affecting the courts.

Ms Kate Cuthbertson

Kate was admitted to practice in 1999 and signed the bar roll in February 2010. She was appointed head of Malthouse Chambers in August 2014. Her areas of practice include criminal law (State and Commonwealth), professional conduct, general litigation, administrative law and coronial matters. Kate is also a member of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, the Mental Health Tribunal,  a deputy chairperson of the Tasmanian Racing Appeals Board and a Criminal Injuries Compensation Commissioner.  In addition to her work as a barrister, Kate holds a number of positions on government and not-for-profit boards and is a graduate of the AICD’s Company Director’s Course. Kate also assists deliver the Magistrates Court Practice and Advocacy Module at the Centre for Legal Studies.

Ms Cuthbertson  is appointed as a member who has broad experience in community issues affecting the courts.

Ms Jill Maxwell

Jill has been the CEO of the Sexual Assault Support Service since 2015.

Jill initially spent 13 years with Tasmania Police prior to completing Bachelor Degrees in Social Work and Arts, Majoring in Psychology.  She then worked as a counsellor in the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service and spent nearly 10 years working with Volunteering Tasmania.

Ms Maxwell is appointed as a member who has experience in the provision of victim crime support in Tasmania.

Ms Kim Baumeler

Kim was admitted to practice in 1993 and became a partner with Butler McIntyre and Butler in 2004. In 2014 she took a position with Liverpool Chambers. Her practice includes all areas of the criminal spectrum as well as allied criminal justice matters.

Kim has extensive practical defence experience as well as an understanding of the workings of the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. Kim is also an active member of a number of professional and community committees, boards and organisations including the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute Board (member), Crime Stoppers Tasmania (Director), National Criminal Law Committee (member), Mosaic Support Services (Chair), Eastside Lutheran College Board (member)  and the Council of St Peter’s Lutheran Church (Chair).

Ms Baumeler is appointed as a member who is a highly experienced defence lawyer.

Ms Linda Mason SC

Linda is Principal Crown Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and has worked with the DPP for over 20 years. Linda has provided training and education for various organisations including the University of Tasmania, Tasmania Police Academy, Tasmania Fire Service and The National Institute of Forensic Science. Linda has held professional memberships with the Bar Association, the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society and is a current member of the Law Society of Tasmania.  On 30 April 2018 Linda was appointed Senior Counsel.

Ms Mason is appointed as a member who is a highly experienced prosecution lawyer.

Commander Peter Harriss

Peter is the head of Strategy and Support, Business and Executive Services, in the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management.

Commander Harriss is appointed as the member who is a member of the police service.

Professor Lorana  Bartels

Lorana is a Professor of Criminology at the Australian National University (ANU) and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tasmania and University of Canberra. She was previously the Criminology Program Leader at the ANU and Head of the School of Law and Justice at the University of Canberra. She has also worked for the New South Wales (NSW) Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, NSW Public Defenders, NSW Attorney-General’s Department and Australian Institute of Criminology. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW. Lorana is the Sentencing Editor of the Criminal Law Journal and a member of the editorial boards of the Alternative Law Journal, Current Issues in Criminal Justice and International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.

Professor Bartels is appointed as a member who has experience as a senior member of the academic staff of a tertiary institution.