Updated: Adult Court Bench Book and Pronouncement Cards for magistrates

The Adult Court Bench Book (ACBB) provides guidance for magistrates who sit in the adult court dealing mainly with defendants aged 18 or over. It is used for reference at court and to support consistent training.

The Bench Book is supplemented by national sentencing guidelines, checklists and pronouncement cards. These help magistrates undertake the task of decision making in a fair and structured manner. The Adult Court Pronouncement Cards assist magistrates to explain their decisions fully and clearly.

The latest edition of the Adult Court Pronouncement Cards (dated April 2022) includes an update to the pronouncement for custodial sentences to reflect magistrates’ increased sentencing powers.