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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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What 'rules' in sentencing? consistency and disparity in the absence of 'rules'

Tata, C. and Hutton, N. (1998) What 'rules' in sentencing? consistency and disparity in the absence of 'rules'. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 26 (3). pp. 339-364. ISSN 0194-6595

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Abstract

This paper considers critically the issue of consistency and disparity by examining sentencing in a jurisdiction, Scotland, which has few formal rules governing sentencing practice. First, it briefly outlines the main issues distinctive to the Scottish legal framework on sentencing and then propose reasons why interjudge sentencing disparity both might and might not be expected. It then proceeds to summarize the methodology and findings of a study, initiated by 10 individual sheriffs, to compare their custodial sentencing patterns. The implications of these findings for the roles of, nature of, and relationship between 'rules' and 'knowledge' in sentencing are discussed.