This chapter presents results for defendants finalised in the criminal jurisdiction of the Magistrates' Courts in 2006-07.
Magistrates' Courts (known as a Local Court in New South Wales) are in operation in all states and territories of Australia. The court tries and sentences criminal matters relating to summary offences (such as traffic offences and disorderly behaviour) and hears indictable offences summarily.
Magistrates' Courts data presented here excludes cases such as bail reviews and applications to amend sentences or penalties which do not require the adjudication of charges. Also excluded are breach of bail or parole cases, appeal cases, tribunal matters and defendants for whom a bench warrant is issued but not executed.
- The number of defendants finalised in the Magistrates' Courts increased by 2% from 569,163 in 2005-06 to 580,998 in 2006-07. From 2003-04 defendants finalised increased by 10% (from 527,374).
- The proportion of male to female defendants has remained relatively stable since 2003-04 with males accounting for approximately 77% of the total.
- In 2006-07, defendants finalised by a plea of guilty or a court determination of their guilt or innocence accounted for 91% (526,148) of the total finalised. Withdrawal of charges by the prosecution accounted for a further 7%.
- The majority (95% or 501,995) of defendants whose cases were adjudicated in the Magistrates' Courts in 2006-07 were proven guilty.
- Approximately 9 in 10 convicted defendants were sentenced to non-custodial orders.