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A referral to the Court of Appeal for consideration of a sentence as unduly lenient must be made within 28 days of the date of the sentence as set out in Schedule 3, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The 28 day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend the time limit or to apply for leave to refer out of time.
There are no plans to extend the 28 day deadline. The current deadline provides an appropriate balance between the rights of victims and offenders, ensuring that offenders are not left uncertain of whether their sentence may be extended for a long period of time, whilst allowing victims sufficient time to request a review of the sentence under the scheme.