This article discusses the lack of integration between criminal sanctions and employment deprivations (in the form of being dismissed from employment or disqualified from working in certain industries). Offenders who are employed in certain industries, especially the professions, often suffer a far greater net punishment upon being found guilty of a criminal offence than other offenders, thereby violating the principle of proportionality and the (related) principle of equality in the impact of sanctions. The reason that such a situation has developed is because criminal sanctions and employment deprivations have evolved from different streams of jurisprudence. This article argues that sentencers should impose a ‘net’ sanction for a criminal offence, thereby merging these streams of jurisprudence. This would require courts to be vested with the power to suspend or disqualify people from being employed in certain occupations. The legal analysis in this article focuses on case and statutory law in Australia, however, the same broad principles apply in all common law jurisdictions, including the UK. Hence, the reform proposals suggested in this article are relevant throughout the common law world.
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