Decision support for criminal sentencing and plea bargaining

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Mackenzie, G, Vincent, A & Zeleznikow, J 2007, 'Decision support for criminal sentencing and plea bargaining", in F Galves (ed.), Proceedings of The Fifth IASTED International Conference on Law and Technology, Berkeley, CA, 24-26 September.

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



Most research on developing sentencing decision support systems has focused upon providing ranges of possible sentences for judges. In this paper we investigate developing decision support systems for criminal law defenders. We use Toulmin’s theory of argumentation to build an argument based system which focuses upon explaining its reasoning. A criminal defense lawyer can spend considerable time on negotiating a plea. Thus our sentencing decision support system is being extended to support plea bargaining between Victoria Legal Aid and the Office of Public Prosecutions.