Sentencing Act 2002

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

Subpart 4—Sentencing for murder

Presumption in relation to sentence for murder

102 Presumption in favour of life imprisonment for murder


An offender who is convicted of murder must be sentenced to imprisonment for life unless, given the circumstances of the offence and the offender, a sentence of imprisonment for life would be manifestly unjust.


If a court does not impose a sentence of imprisonment for life on an offender convicted of murder, it must give written reasons for not doing so.



Section 102(3): repealed, on 16 August 2022, by section 7 of the Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Act 2022 (2022 No 40).