Visible and invisible sentencing

Neil Hutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter develops a conceptual approach which understands sentencing as a collective practice which is generated by a number of actors, not only judges. Sentencing is seen as a series of decision making practices which are made visible in publicly available accounts. This way of seeing sentencing has significant implications for understanding conventional accounts of discretion. This chapter argues that discretion is best understood as a mode of justification based on trust in the invisible work of actors. Sentencing guidelines add a more visible, rule –based form of accountability which does not replace discretion but works alongside it as a complementary mode of justification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModernization of the Criminal Justice Chain and the Judicial System
Subtitle of host publicationNew Insights on Trust, Cooperation and Human Capital
EditorsAnnie Hondeghem, Xavier Rousseaux, Frédéric Schoenaers
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer London
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319258003
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016

Publication series

NameIus Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice


  • human capital
  • sentencing
  • decision making
  • sentencing guidelines


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