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12.10 - Indefinite sentences

The indefinite sentence sanction introduced in 1993 by the Sentencing (Amendment) Act 1993 presents a modification to the standard sentence of imprisonment for application in a very narrow band of cases. This limitation is partly a product of the restricted classes of offences in respect of which an indefinite sentence may be passed, but more significantly, it is a product of the limits placed on when the discretion is properly enlivened.

This sanction is wholly the creature of statute.

Sentencing Act 1991 s18A(1) provides:

If a person (other than a young person) is convicted by the Supreme Court or the County Court of a serious offence, the court may sentence him or her to an indefinite term of imprisonment.

The Victorian indefinite sentence scheme has been upheld as a valid exercise of the legislative power of the Parliament of Victoria: Moffatt [1998] 2 VR 229.

Last updated: 19 April 2011

In This Section

12.10.1 - Policy

12.10.2 - Jurisdiction

12.10.3 - Characteristics of the indefinite sentence

12.10.4 - Threshold criteria

12.10.5 - Consideration of s 18B factors

12.10.6 - Exercise of discretion

12.10.7 - Procedure

12.10.8 - Issues in formulation of an indefinite sentence

See Also

12 - Imprisonment

12.1 - Introduction to imprisonment

12.2 - Statutory schemes

12.3 - Restrictions on imposition

12.4 - Individual and head sentence

12.5 - Cumulation and concurrency

12.6 - Aggregate sentences

12.7 - Non-parole period

12.8 - Pre-sentence detention

12.9 – Credit given to punitive nature of residential rehabilitation

12.11 - Serious offenders

12.12 - Continuing criminal enterprise offenders

12.13 - Remissions

12.14 - Release on parole

12.15 - Drug treatment order (DTO)

12.16 - Suspended sentence

12.17 - Recognizance release orders

12.18 – Mandatory custody for category 1 offences

12.19 - Mandatory custody for category 2 offences unless special reasons apply