Stirling expert appointed to Scottish Sentencing Council

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Hannah Graham
Dr Hannah Graham, criminologist at the University of Stirling, has been appointed to the Scottish Sentencing Council.

A University of Stirling criminologist has been appointed to the Scottish Sentencing Council.

Dr Hannah Graham, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology, is now a lay member of the independent, advisory body – which provides expert guidance on sentencing in Scottish courts – for five years.

Dr Graham replaces Professor Neil Hutton on the Council, while Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr OBE is taking the place of Police Scotland’s Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone. The appointments were made by Scottish Ministers, in consultation with the Lord Justice General.

Chair of the Council, Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dr Hannah Graham and DCC Will Kerr to the Scottish Sentencing Council. Their knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to the Council over the next few years as we continue our ambitious work programme and look towards developing our next business plan.

“Next year will be a busy and exciting time for the Council as we get set to launch a public consultation on the sentencing of young people, respond to the recent consultation on the draft sentencing process guideline, and continue to develop guidelines on death by driving and sexual offences.” 

Dr Graham, whose research centres on criminal justice and the sociology of punishment, said: “I am honoured to have been appointed to this prestigious role with the Scottish Sentencing Council and look forward to contributing positively to the important work it undertakes.”


The Scottish Sentencing Council carries out a range of work around sentencing in Scotland, but does not deal with individual sentences – a matter for the presiding judge in court.

The Council prepares sentencing guidelines for the courts; publishes guideline judgements issued by the courts; and issues information about sentences handed down by the courts. It also conducts research and provides general advice or guidance.

Under law, the Council must promote consistency in sentencing; assist the development of sentencing policy and promote greater awareness and understanding of sentencing.

Dr Graham previously worked at the University of Tasmania and is now based at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, at Stirling. Throughout her career as a criminologist, she has conducted research and worked with a range of people and agencies, including police, procurators fiscal, judiciary, lawyers, court staff, prison staff, justice social work and community justice, charities, people with lived experience of the criminal justice system, and justice policymakers.

Dr Graham is the author or editor of four books, published internationally, on rehabilitation, criminal justice work, and innovative approaches to justice. She is an Editor of the European Journal of Probation, and a member of the Community Sanctions and Measures Working Group in the European Society of Criminology. Dr Graham is a member of the national Council for the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending.

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