JST339 Sentencing Law and Practice (8)

Sentencing law and practice examines sentencing law and the principles that underlie sentencing legislation. Students will be introduced to the major theories and paradigms that dominate sentencing practice in the criminal justice system. Students will learn about the different types of sentences that can be passed down by the courts. Sentences such as fines, community service, court orders, treatment orders, community corrections, restorative justice, incarceration and diversion will be examined.  This subject will also consider the social and political influences that shape the application of these sentences. Students will look at the impact of sentencing practices on people, including marginalised groups, indigenous people, young people and women.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST339. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed JST330 or JST333

Assumed Knowledge

Any JST Level 2 subject

Incompatible Subjects

JST330, JST333

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the principles and aims of sentencing in the context of Australian sentencing laws;
  • be able to describe and evaluate the types of sentences passed by the courts of Australia;
  • be able to evaluate the impact of sentencing on people, including vulnerable groups; and
  • be able to utilise an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate sentencing law and practice


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to sentencing
  • Public opinion and sentencing
  • Theories of punishment
  • Principles of criminal procedure
  • Duties of the prosecutor and defence counsel
  • Purposes of Sentencing
  • Overview of sentencing options
  • Factors taken into account in judicial sentencing
  • Judicial reasoning - instinctive synthesis

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of JST339 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Discussion board post
Sentencing judgement
Take-home examination

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.