High Court issues new sentencing guidelines

Dame Janice at opening of new law year in 2018

A second set of sentencing guidelines from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is expected to come into effect on Sept. 1.

The new guidelines are: Guidelines for Firearm Offences; Re-issued guidelines for Drug Offences; Re-issued Offences of Dishonesty compendium with guidelines for theft, robbery, burglary, and aggravated burglary; and Re-issued Sexual Offences compendium for rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, aggravated unlawful sexual intercourse, indecency and incest.

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court says the guidelines are not intended to achieve uniformity in sentences or to restrict judicial discretion.

By employing measures which demonstrate consistency of approach and by mandating that clear reasons are provided for sentences passed, it is expected that these guidelines will assist immensely in maintaining and promoting public confidence and transparency in the criminal justice system.

The first set of Sentencing Guidelines was officially launched on Sept. 17, 2019 and came into effect on Oct. 1 2019.



  1. I can only hope the changes are updated to make sense.

    A maximum of 60 rounds is beyond asinine. A box holds 50 rounds. Mr. Bullet man I need a full box and 20% of a box due to the current stupid law.

    Weed offense is harsher than a rape offense. Another bunch of stupidness. Which is worse?

    Repeat burglars need to go cut grass, clean up streets, upkeep the community and not be catered for on our tax dollars.

    Buggery needs to be removed from the books as well as no alcohol sales on good Friday.

    All non nationals caught doing crimes should be deported back to their country and banned from ever stepping foot in Antigua again.

    Criminals have only been getting a likka slap and they aren’t deterred from doing it again. Time to deal with them harshly.

    Violent criminals need to be executed once found guilty of murder and even rape. It might not deter everyone for committing those crimes but it will deter that same criminal from doing it again. Tap make the victims victims again of the justice system.

  2. Rape is Rape.
    No matter how it’s “explained / excused’ by defense lawyers.
    No matter how ‘understanding’ officers of the court maybe.
    Let the new sentencing guidelines include mandatory jail time for rape.
    Let this be the opportunity for A&B to enshrine the modern definition of rape by updating the outdated current laws.

    • I agree with you on this one. That will also eliminate rapists thinking that they can “pay their way out of it”.

  3. We could use some more old fashioned type judges who won’t put up with any stupidness. Judges who will throw the book at violators and put up with no nonsense.

  4. Any one caught with weed/marijuana under a pound should sentencing to do community services. Rape and murder once convicted should sentenced to be hanged. Stealing/Robbery should be sentencing to 20 years or more. Fail to provide child support once found guilty should send to cut wood, bun coal, sell, and 90% of the sales goes towards child support; also take child to live with him/her until the child turned 18 years old.

  5. Any law officers found guilty and convicted of the breaking the law should be sentenced to life in prison without patrol…. Rape and murder once found guilty and convicted, they should be hanged in open public.

    • Wadadli, you should be a judge. Your wisdom is right in line with that of the huge majority of Antigua anf Barbuda people. Yes, law officers who break the law should be sentenced to life without parole. Murder and rape once found guilty should be hanged, and I agree, it should be open to the public. If we’d do what is right we could learn a few things from our friends in China and the USA. They are two of the biggest nations in he world and they EXCUTE killers. 1735 would have lots of room if we’d do the same. It’s as simple as that.

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