The Sentence Administration Board

The Sentence Administration Board (the Board) makes decisions under the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 (CSA Act) and related regulations (Crimes (Sentence Administration) Regulation 2006,(the Regulations). The Board can make a range of decisions. Most of the Boards work is exercising ‘supervisory powers’ under the CSA Act for:

  • Parole decisions.
  • Breaches of parole.
  • Breaches of Intensive Corrections Orders (ICOs).
  • Management hearings into parolee progress and compliance in the community.
  • Overseas travel requests by those on parole or subject to an ICO.

The Board is an administrative body which makes decisions independently and not under the direction of anyone or any agency. The Board can only do what legislation authorises it to do. It does not have the powers of a court. The CSA Act establishes the Board and is the primary legislative basis for its operations and decisions; however, other legislation (e.g. Legislation Act 2001) may be relevant depending on the case.

There are currently 11 members of the Board, three being judicial members (i.e. the Chair and Deputy Chairs). All members of the Board are appointed by the Attorney-General of the ACT after a publicly advertised selection process.

When exercising its supervisory powers, the Board is usually made up of three members with one being a judicial member. A judicial member has legal qualifications. Non-judicial members have a range of backgrounds and relevant experience.

The Board is subject to statutory and common law duties, including applying the principles of natural justice and operating in accordance with the Human Rights Act 2004(HR Act). The rules of evidence do not apply to Board hearings (section 196 the Act); however, they offer a guide to how hearings are conducted. The Board aims to make hearings informal but fair, and to respond to special needs of persons appearing before them, when known and as required.

The Board operates in accordance with the principles of natural justice. The twin pillars of natural justice are firstly, a fair opportunity to be heard and secondly, to have a case heard by a fair-minded person and body open to its merits. The Board applies these principles in each case before it and its Conflict of Interest and Bias Policy supports adherence to these principles. The Council of Australasian Tribunals has published a Practice Manual for Tribunals (2017) that guides decision-making for tribunals and boards in this respect.

The Board sits at least once per week, usually Tuesdays and when necessary Thursdays. It usually sits at the Law Courts of the ACT or at ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS), 249 London Circuit Canberra City. It conducts audio-visual and teleconference hearings upon request and in other circumstances where needed.

Board hearings are not open to the public unless the Board decides otherwise. At times, the Board may publish the outcome of a case.

Administrative support for the Board is provided by ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS). The Board’s Secretariat is the point of contact for the Board and can be contacted by telephone: 02 6207 1563 or email: sab.secretariat@act.gov.au.

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency arrangements

Some information provided on the webpages for the Sentence Administration Board (the Board) may have changed due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

During the COVID-19 emergency, changes to the laws that apply to the Sentence Administration Board have been enacted. A new provision is as follows:

The Board has a discretion to give a warning and not impose a three or seven day custodial sentence when an offender has breached their Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) and already received three warnings for prior breaches of the ICO in a 12 month period.

Changes have also been made to the usual operations of the Sentence Administration Board. Importantly, the Board now conducts most hearings by teleconference or audio-visually  to meet COVID-19 Public Health Emergency requirements. Information about changed arrangements for a hearing is set out in the Notice provided to the offender and other parties prior to any hearing. Any inquiries about arrangements for hearing a case can be made to the Board’s Secretariat by telephone: 02 6207 1563 or email: sab.secretariat@act.gov.au

Statement of Expectations and Intent
Complaints and reviews
Representation before the Board
The Board's Conflict of Interest and Bias Policy
Membership of the Board
Structure and operations of the Board
The parole process and considerations by the Board
Parole Breaches and Sanctions for Breaching
Victim Involvement with decisions of the Sentence Administration Board
The Secretariat