Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project
This Project makes sentencing fairer and more efficient through innovative law reform.
The Project undertakes research into sentencing law and policy in order to influence government policy and judicial case-law with the aim to implement reforms that will make the criminal justice system fairer and more efficient.
The focus of the Project is to provide solutions to the following problems:
- The runaway incarceration rate in Australia and the United States. The Project will make reform proposals relating to the development and use of new criminal sanctions. These will incorporate technological developments into the sentencing system, including the greater use of electronic monitoring and development of surveillance technology to track the actions of offenders.
- The over-representation of Indigenous Australians and African Americans in prison.
- The over-representation of the mentally ill in prison. Nearly fifty per cent of offenders have a mental impairment. There are more mentally impaired people in prison than in hospitals for the mentally ill.
- The over-representation of the poor and under-educated (i.e. people who did not complete secondary school) in prison.
- The need for the sentencing system to abandon the pursuit of objectives that are unattainable, such as general and specific deterrence.
- The need to making the sentencing system more transparent and predictable.
The Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project provides clinical education to law students, focusing on criminal appeals where there is a prospect that the accused have been wrongly convicted. It also runs test cases on important areas of sentencing law.
In the media
- "US burns but we just turn away"
The Australian, 2 June 2020
- "Remorse and sentencing: We can’t treat terror like tax"
The Australian, 25 May 2020
- "Here's an idea for Jacinda Arden: tell Kiwis to stop breaking laws in Australia"
The Australian, 5 March 2020
- "Transparency can work both ways"
The Australian, 17 February 2020
- "Opinion: Let's slash indigenous jail terms by a quarter"
The Australian, 3 January 2020
- "Opinion: Here’s why we must not trust ‘reformed’ terrorists"
The Australian, 2 December 2019
- "Opinion: It’s not just jail for George Pell, this is torture"
The Australian, 18 November 2019
- "Opinion: Determining likelihood of re-offending shouldn’t be a judicial guess"
The Australian, 20 September 2019
- "Opinion: Justice the new barbie stopper", The Australian, 27 August 2019
- "Opinion: Dissenting judge gives Pell reason to clutch at High Court lifeline",
The Australian, 26 August 2019
- "End of Victorian Era of Secrecy", The Australian, 8 March, 2019
- "Sex Offenders' list tilts balance back to children", The Australian 13 January 2019
- "Stiffer penalties won't bring bankers to account", The Australian 3 January, 2019
- "It is time to move sentencing beyond the Dark Ages", The Australian, 6 November 2018
- "Hard to be tough on crime when you don't properly understand it",
The Australian, 6 November 2018
- "Deport criminals' The Australian, 24 July 2019
- "Jailing bosses for wage 'theft' no payback for dudded workers",
The Australian 2 August 2019
- Mirko Bagaric, "Give criminals their desserts with sensible sentencing",
The Australian, 1 February 2018
- "AI could produce faster, fairer sentences than judges: academics",
The Australian, 25 January 2018
- Mirko Bagaric, "Punishments must better fit the crimes for there to be just desserts",
The Australian, 14 January 2018
- "Think before adopting royal commission’s plan on similar fact evidence",
The Australian, 17 August 2017
- "A Trial for George Pell Might Struggle to be Fair",
The Australian, 11 July 2017
- "Imprisoned by techology",
ABC Radio National 'Big Ideas' presented by Paul Barclay, 13 June 2017
- "A world without prisons might be closer than you think",
The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 April 2017
- "When abstract rights override public safety, there is something wrong"
The Australian, 17 March 2017
- "Jail only the scary, invest the savings in education", The Australian, 26 January 2017
- "'We can’t lock young people up': Victoria warned on tough youth justice measures",
The Guardian, 28 January 2017
- "ASIC says put white collar criminals in jail", Sky News, 6 December 2016
- Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter and Colin Loberg, 'Introducing Disruptive Technology to Criminal Sanctions: Punishment by Computer Monitoring to Enhance Sentencing Fairness and Efficiency', (August 1 2018)
- Mirko Bagaric and Daniel McCord 'Decarcerating America: The Opportunistic Overlap Between Theory and (Mainly State) Sentencing Practise As a Pathway to Meaningful Reform', (January 3, 2019). Buffalo Law Review, Vol 67 2019.
- Mirko Bagaric, 'Redefining the Circumstances in Which Family Hardship Should Mitigate Sentence Severity', (August 1, 2018). University of New South Wales Law Journal (2019) Vol 42.
- Mirko Bagaric, Gabrielle Wolf and Brienna Bagaric 'The Illusion of Principled Justice: The Fiction That Sentencing Principle Is Applied Consistently', (January 1 2019). Australian Bar Review (2019) Vol 47.
- Mirko Bagaric, Gabrielle Wolf, Peter Isham, 'Trauma and Sentencing: The Case for Mitigating Penalty for Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse', (14 August 2018)
- Mirko Bagaric, Gabrielle Wolf, 'Sentencing by Computer: Enhancing Sentencing Transparency and Predictability, and (Possibly) Bridging the Gap between Sentencing Knowledge and Practice', (31 July 2018)
- Mirko Bagaric, Julie N Clarke, William Riniger, 'Plea Bargaining: From Patent Unfairness to Transparent Justice,' (24 February 2018)
- Mauer, Marc, 'Letter in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act,' (February 2018)
- Mirko Bagaric, 'Abolishing the Curious Sentencing Anomaly in [Australian] between the Voluntary Disclosure of One’s Own Offending and Assisting Authorities with the Offending of Others' (February 2018)
- Mirko Bagaric, Gabrielle Wolf, Michale Rininger, 'Mitigating America’s Mass Incarceration Crisis Without Compromising Community Protection: Expanding the Role of Rehabilitation in Sentencing', Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 1, No. 22, (2018)
- Hon. John T. Lu, et al, 'Advisory Sentencing Guidelines - Massachusetts Sentencing Commission', November (2017)
- Jack Lu, "Sentencing ‘Best Practices’ a must read for the criminal bar", Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 28 July (2017) [Word 26KB]
- Mirko Bagaric, 'Bringing Sentencing into the 21st Century: Closing the Gap between Practice and Knowledge by Introducing Expertise into Sentencing Law', 45 Hofstra Law Review (with Gabrielle Wolf and Nick Fischer) 785-850 (2017)
- Mirko Bagaric, 'Three Things That a Baseline Study Shows Do Not Cause Indigenous Over-Imprisonment; Three Things That Might (But Shouldn’t) and Three Reforms that Will Reduce Indigenous Over-Imprisonment', 32 Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice (2016)
- Ashley Nellis, 'Still Life: America’s Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences', (2017) The Sentencing Project
- Amy Baron-Evans and David Patton, 'A Response to Judge Pryor's Proposal to 'Fix' the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: A Cure Worse than the Disease', Federal Sentencing Reporter, forthcoming (2017)
- Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter and Gabrielle Wolf, 'Technological Incarceration and the End of the Prison Crisis', Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 108, No. 1, forthcoming (2017)
- Mirko Bagaric, Jean Jacques Du Plessis and Jaclyn Silver, 'Halting the Senseless Civil War Against White-Collar Offenders: 'The Conduct Undermined the Integrity of the Markets' and Other Fallacies', Michigan State Law Review (2016)
- Mirko Bagaric, Sandeep Gopalan and Marissa Florio, 'A Principled Strategy for Addressing the Incarceration Crisis: Redefining Excessive Imprisonment as a Human Rights Abuse', Cardozo Law Review, forthcoming (2016)
- Mirko Bagaric and Sandeep Gopalan, 'Saving the United States from Lurching to Another Sentencing Crisis: Taking Proportionality Seriously and Implementing Fair Fixed Penalties', St. Louis University Law Journal, forthcoming (2015)
- Mirko Bagaric, 'A Rational Theory of Mitigation and Aggravation in Sentencing: Why Less is More When It Comes to Punishing Criminals', Buffalo Law Review Vol. 62 (2015)
- The Sentencing Project, Trends in US Corrections, (2017)
- Mark Mauer, 'The Obama Legacy: Chipping Away at Mass Incarceration', (2016) TalkPoverty.org
Professor Mirko Bagaric: ‘Closing Prisons: Moving from Prison Walls to Technological Incarceration’
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professorial Lecture Series
Date: Tuesday 23 May 2017
Time: 4.30 – 5.30pm
Location: SPS 136/137, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus