The controversial Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 ("LASPO") received Royal Assent on 1st May 2012. Part 3 (section 63 - 148) covers Sentencing and the Punishment of Offenders and is made up of 9 chapters.

GCN's Sara Woodhouse Davie summarises some of the key provisions in the resource below.  See also the further updates since this was originally published:

UPDATE 18th December 2012

The latest GCN Criminal Law update (below) sets out an overview of what is now in force under the first 4 commencement orders.

UPDATE 3rd December 2012

When reading the LASPO summary document below, please now note that Statutory Instrument 2012 No. 2906 (C. 114) The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 4 and Saving Provisions) Order 2012 brought into force a number of provisions of the Act from 3rd December 2012 as follows:

Subject to articles 3 to 7, the following provisions of the Act come into force on 3rd December 2012—
(a) CHAPTER 1 of Part 3 (sentencing) except -
(i) section 67(2)(a) and (5)(a) (court’s powers in relation to an offender following a finding that the offender has breached a community order);
(ii) sections 76 and 77 (alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement etc);
(iii) section 78(3) so far as it relates to alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirements; and
(iv) sections 85 to 88 (fines);
(b) CHAPTER 2 of Part 3 (bail);
(c) CHAPTER 3 of Part 3 (remands of children otherwise than on bail);
(d) CHAPTER 4 of Part 3 (release on licence etc) except section 119;
(e) CHAPTER 5 of Part 3 (dangerous offenders);
(f) CHAPTER 6 of Part 3 (prisoners etc) except section 129;
(g) Schedule 9 (changes to powers to make suspended sentence orders: consequential and transitory provision);
(h) Schedule 10 (repeal of sections 181 to 188 of Criminal Justice Act 2003: consequential amendments);
(i) Schedule 11 (amendments of enactments relating to bail);
(j) Schedule 12 (remands of children otherwise than on bail: minor and consequential amendments);
(k) Schedule 13 (crediting of time in custody);
(l) Schedule 14 (prisoners serving less than 12 months: consequential amendments);
(m) Schedule 15 (application of sections 108 to 119 and transitional and transitory provision);
(n) Schedule 16 (amendments of Criminal Justice Act 2003: transitional and consequential provision);
(o) Schedule 17 (Criminal Justice Act 2003: restatement of transitional provision);
(p) Schedule 18 (life sentence for second listed offence etc: new Schedule 15B to Criminal Justice Act 2003);
(q) Schedule 19 (life sentence for second listed offence: consequential and transitory provision);
(r) Schedule 20 (release of new extended sentence prisoners: consequential amendments of Chapter 6 of Part 12 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003);
(s) Schedule 21 (abolition of certain sentences for dangerous offenders and new extended sentences: consequential and transitory provision); and
(t) Schedule 22 (dangerous offenders subject to service law etc).

There are also three other relevant Statutory Instruments:

SI 2012/1956 LASPO Act brought into force from 1st September 2012 s.144 the offence of squatting in a residential building.
SI 2012/2412 LASPO Act (Commencement No. 2 and Saving Provision) Order 2012 - bringing into force from 1st October 2012 provisions relating to costs and payments and Section 140 (no rehabilitation for certain immigration or nationality purposes)
SI 2012/2770 LASPO Act (Commencement No. 3 and Saving Provision) Order 2012 - bringing into force from 3rd December 2012 a number of new offences.


A brief overview of each chapter of LASPO 2012 Part 3 covered by our summary document is below - for more details download the full summary document by clicking on the link above.

  • CHAPTER 1: SENTENCING - (Section 63 - 89) - Chapter 1 sets out changes to some general sentencing provisions contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ("CJA 2003") and other legislation.
  • CHAPTER 2: BAIL - (Section 90) - Section 90gives effect to Schedule 11 which amends the Bail Act 1976 and other legislation concerning bail.
  • CHAPTER 3: REMANDS OF CHILDREN OTHERWISE THAN ON BAIL - (Section 91 -“ 107) - This chapter replaces the existing framework for remand of children in the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 and removes the provisions under which 17 year olds are currently remanded in prison. It also removes the existing distinctions based on age and gender and imposes a more rigorous test before under 18's can be remanded to youth detention accommodation.
  • CHAPTER 4: RELEASE ON LICENCE ETC - (Section 108 -€“ 121) -This chapter presents a large number of very detailed amendments to the provisions of the CJA 2003 dealing with the release on licence and recall of prisoners.
  • CHAPTER 5: DANGEROUS OFFENDERS - (Section 122 – 128) -Under section 123 of LASPO, indeterminate sentences for public protection and extended sentences for certain violent or sexual offences will be abolished. They will be replaced with provisions for life sentences to be imposed on conviction for a second serious offence and a new provision for extended sentences.
  • CHAPTER 6: PRISONERS ETC - (Section 129 - 131) - gives the Secretary of State the power to make rules in respect of the employment and payment of prisoners and persons in young offender institutions aged 18 or over.
  • CHAPTER 7: OUT OF COURT DISPOSALS - (Section 132 -“ 138) -contains a number of important amendments relating to out of court disposals which may be used as an alternative to prosecution.
  • CHAPTER 8: REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS - (Section 139 -“ 141) - contains a package of changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 ("ROA") to amend the scope of the Act and its rehabilitation periods.
  • CHAPTER 9: OFFENCES - (Section 142 -“ 148) - introduces a number of new offences.