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Sentencing Guidelines for HBV and Honour Killings

Idriss, MM (2015) Sentencing Guidelines for HBV and Honour Killings. The Journal of Criminal Law, 79 (3). pp. 198-210. ISSN 0022-0183

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Abstract

Honour-Based Violence (HBV) and Honour Killings are crimes committed to salvage the reputation of families and are usually committed because of the deviant (and usually sexual) behaviour of a woman is perceived to have brought about shame. Violence, it is believed, must then be inflicted in order to modify that behaviour and to cleanse the family’s reputation of dishonour. This article will explore the role of the criminal courts in tackling HBV by appropriately punishing those who perpetrate such acts. It will argue that despite the increasing number of prosecutions in these types of cases, Sentencing Council guidelines are needed not only to help achieve consistency, but to help to ensure that sentencing judges apply relevant aggravating and mitigating factors that will lead to the imposition of a proportionate sentence that is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. This article will offer proposals and will examine the main aggravating and mitigating factors a newly devised Sentencing Council guideline should include.

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