The Solicitor-General has endorsed a suggestion that the Court of Appeal set sentencing guidelines for sexual violation cases.
The case of a grandfather jailed for 15 years for sex attacks on his granddaughters is being used as a catalyst for the court to review sentences handed down in such cases.
The Crown is seeking a minimum non-parole period of at least seven-and-a-half years, but the man's lawyer told the court his client's health and life expectancy should be taken into account and an earlier release may help his rehabilitation.
Defence lawyers have suggested the Court of Appeal adopt the Law Commission's draft guidelines for sexual offending.
However, Solicitor-General David Collins, QC, said the court must be careful not to adopt a more lenient approach than Parliament intended in the legislation.
The court has reserved its decision.