This term is used in the context of sentencing in criminal cases.

A judge when imposing a life sentence, is required to set a minimum period (the tariff) which must expire before the Parole board can consider whether it would be safe to release the prisoner on licence.

Sentencing guidelines set out the tariff i.e. minimum period for different types of killing in the case of murder e.g. use of knife, firearm etc.

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