Sentencing Council Manslaughter Guideline consultation

About this consultation

The Sentencing Council has produced this consultation paper to seek views on the sentencing of manslaughter offences (though not the legislation and case law upon which such offences are based).

It identifies four types of offences to be covered by the draft Guideline: manslaughter by reason of loss of control; manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility; unlawful act manslaughter; and gross negligence manslaughter.


The paper explains that the approach taken in the draft guidelines aims to generalise sentencing practice, rather than change it, except for the more culpable offences arising from breach of health and safety, where sentences are expected to rise. The Sentencing Council is seeking views on:

  • The principal factors that make any of the offences included within the draft guideline more or less serious
  • The additional factors that should influence the sentence
  • The approach taken to structuring the draft guidelines
  • The sentences that should be passed for manslaughter offences
  • Anything else that you think should be considered.

Once a definitive guideline is produced, it will apply to all offenders aged 18 and over, who are sentenced in England and Wales.

Proposed changes

Focusing on the offence of gross negligence manslaughter, we invite IOSH members to send us comments on the Sentencing Council consultation questions (listed below) or any other comments to, to help inform an IOSH response, by 01 September 2017.

Consultation questions

Gross negligence manslaughter (see draft guideline pp 57-61):

  • Do you agree with the proposed approach to the assessment of culpability? Please give reasons where you do not agree.
  • Are there any aggravating or mitigating factors that should be removed or added? Please give reasons.
  • Do you have any comments on the sentence ranges and starting points?
  • Do you have any views on the application of the guideline to case 5, which presents work-related examples of the offence and how they would be sentenced under this guideline (see p.28)?

IOSH members wishing to also respond individually to the Sentencing Council can do so by visiting here and responding by 10 October 2017.