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Title: Information in Vietnamese youth sentencing : the theory and practice of a 'rationalist' approach to decision-making
Author: Hoang, Chau Xuan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 3263
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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In Anglo-American jurisdictions, the 'rationalist tradition' in the field of criminal justice, exemplified by Bentham and Wigmore, has largely been applied and developed in the field of evidence at the trial stage of the criminal process. This thesis argues that the 'rationalist' approach to decision-making is applicable beyond its original setting to at least the sentencing stage, and to other jurisdictions than those that have a common law tradition. It then seeks to apply a rational decision-making model to youth sentencing in Vietnam and in England and Wales, in the context of international norms applicable to youth justice. The thesis argues that if compliance with international and domestic law and norms concerning the administration of juvenile justice is to be achieved other than by chance, sentencers' decision-making must follow a rational approach. This means that sentencing decisions are only made in circumstances in which sentencers are able to maximize the probability of achieving appropriate sentencing objectives in each case on the basis of 'relevant' and 'reliable' information. To this end, relevant and reliable information is a necessary pre-condition for rational sentencing. The level of relevance and reliability of (a piece of) information depends on its nature, its source, and the form of communication. The thesis develops and applies a rational decision-making model to the youth justice process up to, and including, the sentencing stage. In principle this model is, and should be, universal and suitable for analysing and assessing the rationality of sentencing (in terms of available information necessary for rational decision-making) in different jurisdictions with different procedural traditions. By applying the model to youth sentencing in Vietnam and in England and Wales, this thesis identifies problems in each, A significant finding is that Vietnamese sentencers do not have sufficient information for the purposes of rational sentencing decisions. It is argued that an additional mechanism for providing relevant and reliable information to Vietnamese sentencers is therefore necessary. Given that both Vietnam and England and Wales require a rational youth sentencing process in order to fulfil their international obligations, the thesis examines the English and Welsh experience in the field. In particular, the thesis identifies the pre-sentence report as an appropriate a tool for providing sentencers with the information necessary for rational sentencing, and argues that suitably adapted it may assist Vietnam in complying with its international obligations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available