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Multiple Offence Sentencing

Sentencing Multiple CrimesSentencing offenders for multiple offences

The Centre was a contributing partner in an international workshop on Multiple Offence Sentencing (MOS) held in Oxford in December 2015. MOS is a little-studied but very important issue for sentencing theorists. It has been described informally as a practice of ‘discount for bulk offending’, because – in every known jurisdiction – when an offender appears before a court charged with several offences, he or she will usually receive a lesser sentence than would be commensurate with the gravity of each offence considered separately. Empirically, the reasons for this widespread practice are complex, and not yet fully researched.  Normatively, the practice poses a significant justificatory challenge to currently dominant retributive theories of punishment.  A volume arising from the Oxford Workshop was published in November 2017 (Sentencing Multiple Crimes, edited by Jesper Ryberg, Julian V Roberts and Jan W de Keijser, Oxford University Press). The volume contains chapters by three scholars associated with the Centre - Anthony Bottoms, Natalia Vibla, and Andreas von Hirsch.  To draw attention to the -publication of the volume, the Centre hosted a well-attended follow-up seminar on this important topic in January 2018, chaired by Professor Nicola Padfield, and with presentations by Anthony Bottoms, Julian Roberts and His Honour Judge Jonathan Cooper (see illustrations - Judge Cooper on the right).

MOS photo