- In The Queen v Pham, the High Court confirmed there is only one unified sentencing scheme for Commonwealth offences across the country, not a collection of different practices across all the states of Australia.
- Sentencing principles must always be set out and carefully applied to the current case.
- Statistics from other jurisdictions may serve as a helpful yardstick but should not be used as the centrepiece to any argument.
In The Queen v Pham  HCA 39, the High Court has carefully considered the process of sentencing Commonwealth offenders. Unanimously, but in two separate sets of reasons, the Court confirmed there is only one unified sentencing scheme for Commonwealth offences across the country, not a collection of different practices across all the States of Australia, and they carefully looked at what use might be made of tables and graphs of comparative sentences.
But what does it mean in practice? How are we to determine what the sentencing practices are across the country, with so many offences and so many judicial officers?
And does this have implications for the law relating to sentencing State offenders, too?