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4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/02/2013   
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Contents >> Higher Courts >> Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants - Northern Territory - Higher Courts


ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEFENDANTS

Northern Territory

In 2011-12, 286 defendants (60%) in the Higher Courts in the Northern Territory identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Higher Courts, Indigenous Status, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The proportion of males and females varied slightly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants: 11% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were female compared with 5% of non-Indigenous defendants.

There was a small difference in the age profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants. Those aged under 30 years accounted for almost half (49%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants compared with 42% of non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Higher Courts, Indigenous Status(b) by age, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



Between the two populations, there was variation in the main offence categories. In the Northern Territory three offence categories accounted for 70% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander defendants adjudicated: acts intended to cause injury (45%), sexual assault (13%) and unlawful entry with intent (12%). For non-Indigenous defendants in the Northern Territory the three main offence categories were: illicit drugs (39%), sexual assault (18%), and acts intended to cause injury (17%).

In the Northern Territory in 2011-12, almost all defendants proven guilty were sentenced to custodial orders. The proportion was 97% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and 92% for non-Indigenous defendants proven guilty. By age, there was some variation in the younger age groups, with a larger proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged under 25 years receiving custodial sentences compared with non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS PROVEN GUILTY(a), Higher Courts, Indigenous Status(b), Custodial orders by age, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



There were differences when comparing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants proven guilty and sentenced to a non-custodial order in the Higher Courts in 2011-12. Both only had two age groups sentenced to non-custodial orders but the profiles were different:
  • for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants, non-custodial orders were split between those aged under 20 years (50%) and those aged 45 to 49 years (50%)
  • for non-Indigenous defendants, non-custodial orders were most common for those aged under 20 years (67%) followed by those aged 50 to 54 years (33%).

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