Sentencing Act 2002

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Department of Corrections and Ministry of Justice
104 Imposition of minimum period of imprisonment of 17 years or more


The court must make an order under section 103 imposing a minimum period of imprisonment of at least 17 years in the following circumstances, unless it is satisfied that it would be manifestly unjust to do so:


if the murder was committed in an attempt to avoid the detection, prosecution, or conviction of any person for any offence or in any other way to attempt to subvert the course of justice; or


if the murder involved calculated or lengthy planning, including making an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes (or is intended to pass) from one person to another; or


if the murder involved the unlawful entry into, or unlawful presence in, a dwelling place; or


if the murder was committed in the course of another serious offence; or


if the murder was committed with a high level of brutality, cruelty, depravity, or callousness; or


if the murder was committed as part of a terrorist act (as defined in section 5(1) of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002); or


if the deceased was a constable or a prison officer acting in the course of his or her duty; or


if the deceased was particularly vulnerable because of his or her age, health, or because of any other factor; or


if the offender has been convicted of 2 or more counts of murder, whether or not arising from the same circumstances; or


in any other exceptional circumstances.


This section does not apply to an offender in respect of whom an order under section 103(2A) is made.

Section 104(1)(ea): inserted, on 31 October 2003, by section 4 of the Sentencing Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 109).

Section 104(1)(f): amended, on 1 October 2008, pursuant to section 116(a)(ii) of the Policing Act 2008 (2008 No 72).

Section 104(2): inserted, on 1 June 2010, by section 11 of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010 (2010 No 33).

Section 104(2): amended, on 16 August 2022, by section 9 of the Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Act 2022 (2022 No 40).