Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Appeal deference for sentence

R v Korgak , 2013 NUCA 09 is a good source for the general principle of deference to the trial judge on sentencing appeals:

[6] Moreover, we are constrained by the principle of deference. Even if members of this panel would have given a longer sentence if the respondent had been sentenced by them, an appellant court cannot vary a sentence order simply because it feels that a different order ought to have been made. An appellant court should not intervene unless it is shown that the sentence is demonstrably unfit, that the sentencing judge erred in principle, failed to consider a relevant factor, or overemphasized appropriate factors: R v M(CA), [1996] 1 SCR 500. Accordingly, even though we view the sentence for the manslaughter to be at the very low end of the range, we will not interfere.

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