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The Sentencing Guidelines Council is a non-departmental public body of the UK, created by s.167 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It gives authoritative guidance on sentencing to the courts of England and Wales.


The Council is chaired by the Lord Chief Justice and comprises seven judicial members, appointed by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice and the Home Secretary, and four non-judicial members, appointed by the Home Secretary after consultation with the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice.

The seven judicial members must include a circuit judge, a district judge (magistrates courts) and a lay magistrate. The non-judicial members must be experienced in policing, criminal prosecution, criminal defence or victim welfare.

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