Van Ryn v The Queen

The High Court has made orders by consent between the parties, allowing an appeal against a decision of the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal on the sentencing of paedophiles. The defendant pled guilty to a series of child sexual assaults committed between 2004 and 2014, and was sentenced in the New South Wales District Court to an aggregate term of 13 years imprisonment. The Crown appealed against the sentence, contending that it was manifestly inadequate, as demonstrated by errors in the judge’s assessment of the sentence. The NSWCCA allowed the Crown’s appeal, concluding that the sentencing judge did make a number of errors that may reflect the inadequacy, specifically in making no finding on the objective seriousness of the offending, and not properly appreciating the importance of deterrence, making the sentence inadequate. The NSWCCA also noted that even if those errors did not ’cause’ the inadequacy, the sentence was plainly unjust, and raised the sentence to 18 years. The appellant appealed to the High Court on a narrow ground, contending that the NSWCCA erred in determining the aggregate sentence in misidentifying the subsection of the offence in Count 9, and where those different sections hold different maximum sentences. Neither party filed written submissions before consenting to allow the appeal. The High Court has remitted the matter to be determined by the NSWCCA.

High Court Judgment None
Result Appeal allowed
High Court Documents Van Ryn
Orders by Consent [2016] HCATrans 268 11 November 2016
Special Leave Hearing [2016] HCATrans 246 14 October 2016
Appeal from NSWCCA [2016] NSWCCA 1 10 February 2016
Trial, NSWDC
Case No 2014/178855 9 September 2015
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About Martin Clark

Martin Clark is a PhD Candidate and Judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Research Fellow at Melbourne Law School. He holds honours degrees in law, history and philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and an MPhil in Law from MLS. While at MLS, he worked as a researcher for several senior faculty members, was a 2012 Editor of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, tutor at MLS and various colleges, a Jessie Legatt Scholar, and attended the Center for Transnational Legal Studies Program.