- When the Court decides on the sentence to impose against you, it aims to find a sentence that will fit both the offence and the offender i.e. the sentence should proportionately and appropriately reflect the seriousness of the offence and your level of culpability.
- In addition to considering and balancing the 4 main sentencing principles (i.e. Retribution, Deterrence, Prevention and Rehabilitation) when deciding on the appropriate sentence, the Court must also consider whether the sentence is consistent with and upholds the public interest :
- This is because of the strong emphasis in Singapore on the importance of maintaining social order in the community by ensuring that every person respects and follows the law.
- The reasoning behind this principle is that the process of imposing sentences for criminal offences should ultimately help to reduce the occurrence of crime and to protect the members of our community.
- As such, the Court may impose an especially stiff sentence for an offence which is becoming increasingly prevalent so that the general public and potential offenders can be reminded of the seriousness of such an offence and not to commit similar offences.
For example, the Court may consider that public interest should take precedence over and outweigh other mitigating factors such as an offender’s young age. In this way, the Court may take the view that a more severe sentence is justified even though there are worthy mitigating factors.