‘Let the Punishment Match the Offence’: Determining Sentences for Australian Terrorists


To date, 38 men have been charged with terrorism offences in Australia. Twenty-six have been convicted. The article commences with an overview of the factual circumstances leading to these convictions. This provides important background for the following discussion of a largely unexplored issue in Australian anti-terrorism law and policy, namely, the difficulties faced by the Australian courts in adapting traditional sentencing principles to the (for the most part, preparatory) terrorism offences enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Of particular interest are how the courts determine the objective seriousness of these offences and the respective weight placed upon deterrence (both specific and general) and the rehabilitation of convicted terrorists.
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Published: 2013-04-30
Pages:18 to 34
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How to Cite
McGarrity, N. (2013) “‘Let the Punishment Match the Offence’: Determining Sentences for Australian Terrorists”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 2(1), pp. 18-34. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v2i1.87.

Author Biography

University of New South Wales


Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship, ‘Anti-Terror Laws and the Democratic Challenge’,

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, Faculty of Law,