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4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/07/2010   
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CRIMINAL COURTS


CRIMINAL COURTS, AUSTRALIA 2008-09

The number of defendants finalised in Australia's Children's Courts rose by 7% in 2008-2009.

Increases were recorded in all states and territories, except Queensland. The largest increases were in Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory (20%, 19% and 18% respectively).

Theft offences represented one fifth of the 34,200 adjudicated defendants, followed by acts intended to cause injury (18%) and traffic offences (13%).

Figures show that nine in ten defendants convicted of an offence were sentenced to a non-custodial order.

DEFENDANTS ADJUDICATED IN THE CHILDREN'S COURTS, Selected principal offence
Graph: DEFENDANTS ADJUDICATED IN THE CHILDREN'S COURTS, Selected principal offence


The number of defendants finalised in the adult courts increased by 3% from 2007-08 (to 653,133 defendants).

Traffic offences accounted for approximately half (264,800) of defendants adjudicated in the Magistrates' Courts, followed by public order offences (12%).

In the Higher Courts nearly a quarter (22%) of adjudicated defendants were charged with acts intended to cause injury, followed by drug offences (20%) and sexual assault (16%).


About the release

Criminal Courts, Australia (cat. no. 4513.0) provides nationally comparable data showing the number of defendants dealt with by the Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's criminal courts. The release includes details on the characteristics of defendants (such as age and sex), and outcomes associated with adjudicated defendants (including sentence type) by the type of principal offence committed.


FEDERAL DEFENDANTS, SELECTED STATES AND TERRITORIES 2008-09

A total of 35,600 offences committed against Commonwealth legislation were finalised for 14,002 defendants in 2008-09: 625 defendants in the Higher Courts, 13,207 defendants in the Magistrates' Court; and 170 defendants in the Children's Courts. Across all three court levels, 77% of defendants finalised were proven guilty of at least one federal offence. Of those proven guilty, 17% were sentenced to a custodial order.

Just under a third (32%) of federal defendants finalised in Australia's Criminal Courts during 2008-09, were charged with fraud, deception and related offences. A further 29% of federal defendants were charged with offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations.


About this release

The Federal Defendants, Selected States and Territories (cat. no. 4515.0) publication presents nationally comparable statistics relating to Federal Defendants heard in the criminal jurisdiction of the Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's Courts across Australia for the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009. The statistics describe the characteristics of defendants with finalised federal offences, including information about their offences and sentences outcomes.


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