Sentencing Act 2002

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Department of Corrections and Ministry of Justice

Purposes and principles of sentencing

7 Purposes of sentencing or otherwise dealing with offenders


The purposes for which a court may sentence or otherwise deal with an offender are—


to hold the offender accountable for harm done to the victim and the community by the offending; or


to promote in the offender a sense of responsibility for, and an acknowledgment of, that harm; or


to provide for the interests of the victim of the offence; or


to provide reparation for harm done by the offending; or


to denounce the conduct in which the offender was involved; or


to deter the offender or other persons from committing the same or a similar offence; or


to protect the community from the offender; or


to assist in the offender’s rehabilitation and reintegration; or


a combination of 2 or more of the purposes in paragraphs (a) to (h).


To avoid doubt, nothing about the order in which the purposes appear in this section implies that any purpose referred to must be given greater weight than any other purpose referred to.