Opinion

Time for you to be the judge

By Shepparton News

How many times have you thought a judge’s sentence was too lenient?

How many times have you had a chance to judge the case yourself?

The answer to the above questions are, most likely, very different.

Many people would be able to remember a case where the sentence, in their opinion, should have been much harsher. Few, however, get the chance to judge the case themselves.

But that could change thanks to free public sessions being held in Shepparton later this month.

In partnership with the Magistrates' Court of Victoria, the Sentencing Advisory Council is delivering free public You be the Judge sessions around Victoria.

The sessions invite people to sentence a real but anonymous case of culpable driving causing death to offer an insight as to how courts make sentencing decisions.

It is important that members of the community understand the court process and how sentences are reached. But it’s equally important for those behind the system to understand community frustration when these sentences appear out of touch with the crime.

These sessions, which will run for 90 minutes, hope to “bridge the gap” between the community, the courts and government.

Through the use of social media it is becoming increasingly easy to criticise from afar. But it is less easy to criticise when you are involved in the decision-making process.

Now is the time for you to be the judge and find out.

The session will be held in Shepparton on Friday, October 25 at Riverlinks, 70 Welsford St, from 5.25pm to 7pm. Reservations can be made by phoning 1300 363 196 or email [email protected]au