4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2008   
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Contents >> Higher Courts >> Introduction


This chapter presents results for defendants finalised in the criminal jurisdiction of the Higher Courts in 2006-07. The Higher Courts refers to the grouping of the Intermediate (the District or County Court) and Supreme Court levels.

Higher Courts are in operation in all states and territories of Australia. These courts try and sentence matters relating to indictable and serious criminal offences.

Higher 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 Higher Courts decreased by 1% from 16,356 in 2005-06 to 16,191 in 2006-07, and decreased by 16% since 1999-00.

  • The proportion of male to female defendants has remained relatively stable since 2001-02 with males accounting for approximately 87% of the total.
  • Of those defendants finalised in the Higher Courts, 86% (13,928) were finalised by a guilty plea or a court determination of their guilt or innocence. Withdrawal of charges by the prosecution accounted for 13% of finalisations.
  • The majority (92% or 12,835) of defendants whose cases were adjudicated in the Higher Courts in 2006-07 were proven guilty. Of those defendants proven guilty, 88% pleaded guilty and 11% were found guilty following a trial.
  • Approximately 8 in 10 convicted defendants were sentenced to custodial orders.
DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), 1999-2000 to 2006-2007
Graph: Defendants Finalised, 1999-2000 to 2006-2007

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