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4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2014   
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GLOSSARY

Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person

Acts intended to threaten or harass, or acts that unlawfully deprive another person of their freedom of movement, that are against that person's will or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person. This is ANZSOC Division 05 which includes the following Subdivisions: Abduction and kidnapping (051), Deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment (052) and Harassment and threatening behaviour (053).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

A defendant who has self-identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, or both.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status

Whether a defendant has or has not identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. The status is determined by self-identification. Also referred to as Indigenous status.

Acquitted

A determination by the court that a defendant is not guilty of the charge (or charges) on the grounds that the charge has not been proven. This is a not guilty verdict by the court. Acquitted corresponds to the Charge unproven (category 12) in the Method of Finalisation classification and includes:

  • dismissal of charge(s) by a magistrate on the grounds that the defendant is found not guilty
  • dismissal of charge(s) by a member of the judiciary due to lack of evidence or no evidence given by the prosecution
  • a finding of not guilty by reason of mental illness or condition at the time the defendant committed the offence.

Acts intended to cause injury

Acts, excluding attempted murder and those resulting in death, which are intended to cause non-fatal injury or harm to another person and where there is no sexual or acquisitive element. This is ANZSOC Division 02 which includes the following Subdivisions: Assault (021) and Other acts intended to cause injury (029).

Adjudicated finalisation

A method of finalisation based on a judgement or decision by the court as to whether or not the defendant is guilty of the charge(s) laid against them. It corresponds to category 1 in the Method of Finalisation classification. Adjudicated outcomes include:
  • acquitted
  • guilty finding
  • guilty plea
  • guilty ex-parte.
Age

A defendant's age is the time elapsed (in years) between a defendant's date of birth and the date of finalisation.

Aggravated sexual assault

Sexual assault that involves any of the following aggravating circumstances:
  • sexual intercourse (i.e. oral sex and/or penetration of the vagina or anus by any part of the human body or by any object)
  • inflict injury or violence
  • possession/use of a weapon
  • consent proscribed/committed against a child
  • committed in company (i.e. by two or more persons).

This is ANZSOC Group 0311.

Assault

The direct (and immediate/confrontational) infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person or persons or the direct (and immediate/confrontational) threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 021 which includes the following Groups: Serious assault resulting in injury (0211), Serious assault not resulting in injury (0212) and Common assault (0213).

Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC)

The ASOC is a hierarchical classification developed by the ABS for use in the collection and publication of crime and justice statistics. It provides a classification framework for the comparison of statistics on offences across Australia. Within the classificatory structure of ASOC, Divisions represent the broadest categories of offences. The main purpose of Divisions is to provide a limited number of categories which represent broad groups of criminal offences. The Subdivision and Group levels provide increasingly detailed dissections of these broad categories. The 1997 version of the ASOC (ASOC97) was used to classify offence data from 2000–01 to 2007–08. The 2008 version of the ASOC (ASOC08) was used to classify offence data from 2008–09 to 2009–10.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC)

The third edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC) was developed for use within Australia and in New Zealand for the production and analysis of crime and justice statistics. It replaces the second edition of the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) and incorporates a title change from ASOC to ANZSOC and corrects some minor typographical errors only. The classification content and structure remains unchanged. The revised title ANZSOC reflects the international use of the framework to classify criminal behaviour and highlights the collaborative work occurring between Australia and New Zealand. The title change from ASOC to ANZSOC is also in accordance with the agreed policy between the ABS and Statistics New Zealand to harmonise classifications where possible. This edition of ANZSOC is used to classify offence data for 2010–11 and subsequent years. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification, 2011 (cat. no. 1234.0) is available in Appendix 1 or from the ABS website.

Bench warrant

A warrant signed by a judge or magistrate ordering a person to be arrested and brought back before the court. This process takes place when a defendant, who has at least one charge that has not been finalised by the court, absconds from criminal proceedings. Bench warrants are excluded from the Criminal Courts collection as methods of initiation and finalisation.

Breach of violence and non-violence orders

An act or omission breaching the conditions of a violence or non-violence related restraining order. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 153 which includes the Groups: Breach of violence order (1531) and Breach of non-violence order (1532).

Case

One or more defendants against whom one or more charge(s) have been laid and which are heard together by a court as one unit of work. The charge(s) usually relate to the same criminal incident.

Charge

An allegation laid before a court by the police, Director of Public Prosecutions or other prosecuting agency that a person or organisation has committed a criminal offence.

Charge proven

See Proven guilty.

Charge unproven

See Acquitted.

Child pornography offences

The production, possession, distribution or display of pornographic or abusive material of a child under the age of consent in written, photographic, film, video, digital or other format. This is ANZSOC Group 0322.

Children's Court

The Children's Court is primarily a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, to hear and determine criminal charges against persons generally aged less than 18 years at the time the offence occurred. The Children's Court may also determine some minor indictable offences and conduct committal proceedings in relation to young people who have been charged with major indictable offences.

Community service orders

An order requiring a person to undertake a specified number of hours of unpaid work for the community. Should that person breach the order he/she may be brought back to court and receive another penalty, for example a fine, a suspended sentence or a custodial sentence. It corresponds to code 2110 in the Sentence Type classification.

Community supervision or work orders

A sentence imposed on a defendant requiring a person to perform work within the community or report to a person nominated by the court (e.g. a corrections officer). These are non-custodial orders and include:
  • community service orders
  • probation orders
  • treatment orders
  • referral to conference.

It corresponds to code 2100 in the Sentence Type classification.

Convicted

Defendants who were proven guilty of at least one of the final charge(s) laid against them.

Court level

This indicates the level of the court in which a defendant's case is heard. Court levels can be distinguished from one another on the basis of the extent of their legal powers (see Jurisdiction). The names assigned to each of these court levels varies across Australia. The court levels used to output data in this publication are Higher Court (Intermediate and Supreme Court), Magistrates' Court (Court of Summary Jurisdiction) and Children's Court.

Court of Summary Jurisdiction

A lower court level (also referred to as Magistrates' Court, Local Court or Court of Petty Sessions) which deals with relatively less serious charges and has the most limited legal powers of all the state and territory court levels. A Court of Summary Jurisdiction is presided over by a magistrate and has jurisdiction to try and sentence matters relating to summary offences. Under some circumstances, this court level may also deal with less serious indictable offences known as 'minor indictable' or 'triable either way' offences. Courts of Summary Jurisdiction are also responsible for conducting preliminary (committal) hearings for indictable offences.

Custodial orders

Sentences imposed on a defendant requiring a person to have restricted liberty for a specified period of time either through detainment in an institution/home or being subject to regular supervision while residing in the community. These include:
  • custody in a correctional institution
  • custody in the community
  • fully suspended sentence.

It corresponds to category 1000 in the Sentence Type classification.

Custody in a correctional institution

Sentences imposed on a defendant requiring a person to be detained within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration. This is a custodial order and includes:
  • life and indeterminate imprisonment
  • imprisonment with determined term
  • imprisonment with partially suspended term
  • periodic detention
  • juvenile detention with determined term
  • juvenile detention with partially suspended term.

It corresponds to code 1100 in the Sentence Type classification.

Custody in the community

Sentences imposed on a defendant requiring a person to have restricted liberty for a specified period of time while living within the community. This is a custodial order and includes:
  • intensive corrections order
  • home detention
  • other custody in the community.

It corresponds to code 1200 in the Sentence Type classification.

Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons

Dangerous or negligent acts which, though not intended to cause harm, actually or potentially result in injury to oneself or another person. This is ANZSOC Division 04, which includes the following Subdivisions: Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle (041) and Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons (049).

Date of finalisation

The latest date on which all charges laid against a defendant within one case are regarded as formally completed by a particular court level and the defendant ceases to be an active unit of work to be dealt with by that court level.

Date of initiation

Date of initiation represents either the date of committal or the date of registration depending on the process of entry into that level of court. For defendants who are committed from a Magistrates' Court to a Higher Court, date of committal is used for the date of initiation. For defendants who have any other method of initiation, including direct presentment to a Higher Court by ex-officio, date of registration for that court level is used as the date of initiation.

Where there are multiple dates of initiation for charges for a defendant, the earliest date is used.

Deal or traffic in illicit drugs

The supply or purchase of an illicit drug or controlled substance of any quantity, or the possession of an illicit drug or controlled substance where the amount involved is deemed to be of a quantity for commercial activity. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 102 which includes the following Groups: Deal or traffic in illicit drugs – commercial quantity (1021) and Deal or traffic in illicit drugs – non-commercial quantity (1022).

Defendant

A person or organisation against whom one or more criminal charges have been laid and which are heard together as one unit of work by a court level.

District Court

See Intermediate Court.

Driver licence offences

Driver licence offences pertaining to the ownership or use of a driver's licence. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 141 which includes the following Groups: Drive while licence disqualified or suspended (1411), Drive without a licence (1412) and Driver licence offences, n.e.c. (1419).

Duration

The time elapsed between the earliest date of initiation and the latest date of finalisation for a defendant that has been finalised.

Exceed legal speed limit

Offences where a driver of a vehicle exceeds the speed restrictions pertaining to a particular area. This is ANZSOC Group 1432.

Exceed the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit

Offences where the driver of a vehicle exceeds the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance. This is ANZSOC Group 1431.

Finalised appearance

Where charges were finalised at different court appearances in the same case for a defendant, these were counted as finalised defendants at each appearance rather than being aggregated as a single finalised defendant at the latest charge finalisation date. This relates to New South Wales Magistrates' and Children's Courts defendants prior to 2009. For more information see Explanatory Notes paragraph 73.

Finalised defendant

A person or organisation for whom all charges relating to the one case have been formally completed so that the defendant ceases to be an item of work to be dealt with by the court.

Fine

A monetary penalty where the offender is required to pay a sum of money to the Crown. It corresponds to code 2210 in the Sentence Type classification.

Fraud, deception and related offences

Offences involving a dishonest act or omission carried out with the purpose of deceiving to obtain benefit. This is ANZSOC Division 09 which includes the following Subdivisions: Obtain benefit by deception (091), Forgery and counterfeiting (092), Deceptive business/government practices (093) and Other fraud and deception offences (099).

Fully suspended adult sentence

An adult custodial order which provides that all of the sentence not be served, subject to the person being of good behaviour. Excludes fully suspended sentences that have added conditions other than good behaviour. It corresponds to code 1310 in the Sentence Type classification.

Fully suspended juvenile sentence

A juvenile detention order which provides that all of the sentence not be served, subject to the person being of good behaviour. It corresponds to code 1320 in the Sentence Type classification.

Fully suspended sentence

A custodial order which provides that all of the sentence not be served, subject to the person being of good behaviour for the length of the sentence. Fully suspended sentences that have added conditions other than good behaviour are not included. It corresponds to code 1300 in the Sentence Type classification and includes 1310 Fully suspended adult sentence and 1320 Fully suspended juvenile sentence.

Good behaviour bond

A non-custodial sentence that imposes an obligation, with or without sureties, on a defendant. The order aims to secure the performance of some act by the person bound by the undertaking. Recognisance orders are included in this sentence category. It corresponds to code 2910 in the Sentence Type classification.

Guilty ex-parte

This is a method of finalisation in the Magistrates' and Children's Courts. It is when the court adjudicates charge(s) and the charge(s) are proven either: (i) where the defendant pleaded guilty and the charges are proven in his/her absence, or (ii) the defendant failed to appear and the charge(s) were proven on the basis of the evidence presented. It corresponds to category 113 in the Method of Finalisation classification.

Guilty finding

This is a method of finalisation where the court finds the charge has been proven and the case was not heard ex-parte. It corresponds to category 111 Guilty finding by court in the Method of Finalisation classification.

Guilty plea

This is a method of finalisation where the defendant pleads guilty to charge(s) and the case was not heard ex-parte. It corresponds to category 112 Guilty plea by defendant in the Method of Finalisation classification.

Higher Court

The criminal jurisdiction of an Intermediate Court or Supreme Court.

Home detention

An order in which a person serves part of a sentence of imprisonment at home or at another approved place that is not a correctional institution. It corresponds to code 1220 in the Sentence Type classification.

Homicide and related offences

Unlawfully kill, attempt to unlawfully kill or conspiracy to kill another person. This is ANZSOC Division 01 which includes the following Subdivisions: Murder (011), Attempted murder (012) and Manslaughter and driving causing death (013).

Illicit drug offences

The possessing, selling, dealing or trafficking, importing or exporting, manufacturing or cultivating of drugs or other substances prohibited under legislation. This is ANZSOC Division 10 which includes the following Subdivisions: Import or export illicit drugs (101), Deal or traffic in illicit drugs (102), Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs (103), Possess and/or use illicit drugs (104) and Other illicit drug offences (109).

Import or export illicit drugs

Actions resulting or intended to result in either the importation of illicit drugs or controlled substances into Australia, or the exportation of illicit drugs or controlled substances from Australia. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 101 which includes the following Groups: Import illicit drugs (1011) and Export illicit drugs (1012).

Imprisonment

See Custody in a correctional institution.

Imprisonment with determined term

In the Sentence Type classification, the term is used both for code 1121 (a custodial order requiring a person to be detained for a specified period of time within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration) as well as the broader sentence range 1120, which also includes code 1122 Imprisonment with partially suspended term.

Imprisonment with partially suspended term

A custodial order requiring a person to be detained for part of the specified period of time within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration, subject to the person being of good behaviour. It corresponds to code 1122 in the Sentence Type classification.

Indictable offence

A serious criminal offence as defined by specific Commonwealth, state or territory legislation. Charges relating to indictable offences generally require a trial and/or sentence hearing in a Higher Court. Under some circumstances, a defendant can elect to have these charges dealt with in a Court of Summary Jurisdiction.

Indictment

A formal written accusation charging a person with an offence that is to be tried in a Higher Court.

Indigenous status

See Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.

Intensive corrections order

An order that has a component of restricted liberty and requires a person to report to a correctional services officer on a specified basis. Includes intensive supervision orders and intensive corrections orders where a restriction of liberty (i.e. a curfew or periodic detention) is imposed and fully suspended sentences with conditions. It corresponds to code 1210 in the Sentence Type classification.

Intermediate Court

A Higher Court (known either as the District Court or County Court) which has legal powers between those of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction and the Supreme Court and deals with the majority of cases involving serious criminal offences. An Intermediate Court is presided over by a judge, and has original jurisdiction to hear trial and sentence matters relating to most indictable offences. Note: Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory do not have an Intermediate Court and all indictable offences are heard in the Supreme Court.

Jurisdiction

The legal power or authority which may be exercised by a particular court level and within which the judgements or orders of the court can be enforced or executed. The criminal jurisdiction of a court includes the original jurisdiction. Each court level has its own defined jurisdictional limits and these vary across states and territories.

Juvenile detention

A sentence range which corresponds to code 1140 in the Sentence type classification and includes: 1141 Juvenile detention with determined term and 1142 Juvenile detention with partially suspended term.

Juvenile detention with determined term

A custodial order requiring a person to be detained in a juvenile facility for all of the specified period of time. It corresponds to code 1141 in the Sentence Type classification.

Juvenile detention with partially suspended term

A custodial order requiring a person to be detained in a juvenile facility for part of the specified period of time, subject to the person being of good behaviour for the length of the order. It corresponds to code 1142 in the Sentence Type classification.

Life and indeterminate imprisonment

The most serious sentence of imprisonment. It corresponds to code 1110 in the Sentence Type classification.

Life - This does not necessarily mean that the person will be held in custody for the term of his/her natural life. In some states or territories a minimum time to serve in custody is specified by the court, while in others an administrative body such as a Parole Board makes this decision.

Indeterminate - Persons declared as habitual criminals, persons who are either permanently or temporarily deemed not responsible for their actions because of a mental disorder or intellectual disability and prisoners who are sentenced to imprisonment but have not had a release date set. The prisoner may be released, at any time, at the discretion of the administrative body within each jurisdiction responsible for making that decision.

Local Court

See Court of Summary Jurisdiction.

Magistrates' Court

Where used in this publication, the term 'Magistrates' Court' includes the adult criminal Magistrates' Court and the Court of Petty Sessions and New South Wales Local Court. Other Courts of Summary Jurisdiction, such as Children's Courts, Electronic Courts and Drug Courts, are excluded.

See Court of Summary Jurisdiction for further information.

Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs

Actions resulting or intended to result in the manufacture of controlled substances, or growing of plants used to make illicit drugs. This is ANZSOC Subdivision (103) which includes the Groups: Manufacture illicit drugs (1031) and Cultivate illicit drugs (1032).

Mean

The sum of the value of each observation in a dataset divided by the number of observations. This is also known as the arithmetic average.

Median

The middle value in distribution when the values are arranged in ascending or descending order.

Method of finalisation

The way in which a defendant is completed as an item of business in a particular court level. A defendant is considered finalised when all charges against that defendant have been processed to completion within a court level.

There are different methods by which a charge may be finalised and different subsets of finalisation - for example, a guilty plea by defendant is also an adjudicated finalisation. The Method of Finalisation classification is provided at Appendix 2.

Method of initiation

The way in which a criminal charge is initiated, commenced, lodged or filed within the court system or a court level. It refers to the process that leads to the recording of a defendant as a new item of business in a particular court level. There are different methods by which a charge may be initiated.

Miscellaneous offences

Offences involving the breach of statutory rules or regulations governing activities that are prima facie legal, where such offences are not explicitly dealt with under any other Division of ANZSOC. This is ANZSOC Division 16 which includes the following Subdivisions: Defamation, libel and privacy offences (161), Public health and safety offences (162), Commercial/industry/financial regulation (163) and Other miscellaneous offences (169).

Monetary orders

A non-custodial sentence that requires the offender to pay a sum of money, usually in the form of a fine or as recompense to victims (includes restitution orders and compensation orders) and other monetary orders, n.e.c. Court levies and fees are not included. It corresponds to code 2200 in the Sentence Type classification, which includes the following sentences: 2210 Fine; 2220 Orders as recompense to victim; and 2290 Other monetary orders n.e.c.

Motor vehicle theft and related offences

The taking of another person's motor vehicle illegally and without permission, with the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving the owner or possessor of the use of the motor vehicle. Additionally, the taking of another person's motor vehicle parts or its contents illegally, whether or not this also involves the taking of the motor vehicle. This is ANZSOC Subdivision (081) which includes the Groups: Theft of a motor vehicle (0811), Illegal use of a motor vehicle (0812) and Theft of motor vehicle parts or contents (0813).

National Offence Index

The National Offence Index (NOI) is a seriousness ranking of the ANZSOC and is used to determine a principal offence when a defendant has multiple finalised offences across different offence categories, with the same type of finalisation (e.g. proven guilty, acquitted, charges withdrawn). The National Offence Index, 2009 (cat no. 1234.0.55.001) is available from the ABS website.

Non-adjudicated finalisation

A method of finalisation whereby a charge is considered completed even though a judgement has not been handed down by the court. It corresponds to category 3 in the Method of Finalisation classification and includes:
  • defendant is deceased
  • defendant is unfit to plead
  • the charge is withdrawn by the prosecution
  • the case is transferred to a non-court agency.
Non-aggravated sexual assault

Sexual assault not involving any of the aggravating circumstances as defined in ANZSOC Group 0311, Aggravated sexual assault. This is ANZSOC Group 0312.

Non-assaultive sexual offences against a child

Offences of a sexual nature, or intent thereof, against a person under the age of 16 years that involve the presence of that person but not physical contact with that person. This is ANZSOC Group 0321.

Non-custodial orders

Sentences imposed on a defendant that do not involve being held in custody. This category includes:
  • community supervision or work orders
  • monetary orders
  • other non-custodial orders
It corresponds to category 2000 in the Sentence Type classification.

Non-Indigenous

A defendant who does not identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Not guilty verdict

See Acquitted.

Offences against government operations

An act with the intent of resisting or hindering government officers, or government operations, other than police, justice or government security officers. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 154 which includes the Groups: Resist or hinder a government official (excluding police officer, justice official or government security officer) (1541), Bribery involving government officials (1542), Immigration offences (1543) and Offences against government operations, n.e.c. (1549).

Offences against government security

An act or omission prejudicial to effective enforcement of government operations concerned with the preservation of national security. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 155 which includes the Groups: Resist or hinder government officer concerned with government security (1551) and Offences against government security, n.e.c. (1559).

Offences against justice procedures

An act or omission prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures other than justice orders. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 156 which includes the Groups: Subvert the course of justice (1561), Resist or hinder police officer or justice official (1562), Prison regulation offences (1563) and Offences against justice procedures, n.e.c. (1569).

Offences against justice

An act or omission that is deemed to be prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures or any government operations. This includes general government operations as well as those specifically concerned with maintaining government security. This is ANZSOC Division 15 Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations. It includes the following Subdivisions: Breach of custodial order offences (151), Breach of community-based orders (152), Breach of violence and non-violence orders (153), Offences against government operations (154), Offences against government security (155) and Offences against justice procedures (156).

Original jurisdiction

The power of a court to hear criminal charges and determine whether or not a defendant is proven guilty and/or to sentence defendants where a charge has been proven (refer to Jurisdiction).

Other custody in the community n.e.c.

An order requiring a person to have restricted liberty for a specified period of time while living within the community not including intensive corrections orders or home detention orders. It corresponds to category 1290 in the Sentence Type classification.

Other illicit drug offences

Other illicit drug offences not elsewhere classified in Illicit drug offences (ANZSOC Division 10) which includes possession of money with intent to obtain drugs, possession of pipes, syringes, or other utensils associated with the use of drugs, permitting premises to be used for taking, selling or distributing drugs, and failure to keep register for drugs of addiction. This is ANZSOC subdivision 109 and is not further disaggregated.

Other non-custodial orders

Sentences imposed on a defendant that do not require custody, are not fully suspended, and are not elsewhere classified in the non-custodial orders category of the Sentence Type classification. This includes:
  • good behaviour bond/recognisance orders
  • licence disqualification/suspension/amendment
  • forfeiture of property order
  • nominal penalty
  • other non-custodial orders, n.e.c.

It corresponds to code 2900 in the Sentence Type classification.

Partially suspended sentence

An order of imprisonment requiring a person be detained for part of the specified period of time, subject to the person being of good behaviour for the length of the sentence. It corresponds to the following codes in the Sentence Type classification: 1122 Imprisonment with partially suspended term and 1142 Juvenile detention with partially suspended term.

Periodic detention

A custodial order imposed on a defendant requiring a person to be in custody for two consecutive days in a week (e.g. weekends) and remain at liberty during the rest of the week. It corresponds to category 1130 in the Sentence Type classification.

This sentencing option is currently available in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory only. Periodic detention ceased being a sentencing option in New South Wales in 2010.

Plea

The formal statement by, or on behalf of, the defendant in response to a criminal charge that has been laid in a court. The nature of this response indicates whether or not the defendant intends to contest that charge.

Possess and/or use illicit drugs

The possession of a non-commercial quantity and/or use of an illicit drug or other controlled substance. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 104 which includes the following Groups: Possess illicit drugs (1041) and Use illicit drugs (1042).

Principal offence

The offence category, based on ASOC or ANZSOC, that describes the most serious offence type associated with a finalised defendant. The principal offence is determined by how the offences were finalised and/or the rankings in the National Offence Index 2009 (see National Offence Index).

Principal offence is the method of deciding the main offence for a defendant used for all data other than that relating to sentence length or fine amount.

Principal proven offence

The offence type, based on ASOC or ANZSOC, associated with the most serious sentence type (the principal sentence). In situations where several sentences of equal seriousness are imposed, the principal proven offence derivation takes into account the length or monetary amount of the sentence, and if necessary, the seriousness of the offence, for example:
  • If a defendant is given two sentences of equal seriousness, the one with the largest sentence length or monetary amount is selected and the offence associated with this specific sentence will be designated as principal proven offence.
  • If a defendant is given two sentences of equal seriousness and the length or monetary amount of each sentence is equal, the principal proven offence is determined according to the seriousness of the offence using the National Offence Index.

Principal proven offence is the method of deciding the main offence for a defendant used for data relating to sentence length or fine amount.

Principal sentence

The main sentence type for a defendant who has a proven guilty finalisation. For Criminal Courts, Australia, it is based on the hierarchy of the Sentence Type classification (see Appendix 3).

Probation orders

An order that requires an offender to be released, with or without conviction, to the supervision of an authorised officer. Includes any order that requires an offender to report periodically to an authorised officer but does not include any period of restricted liberty. Excludes intensive supervision orders and intensive corrections orders that contain periods of restricted liberty. It corresponds to category 2120 in the Sentence Type classification.

Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences

Offences involving prohibited or regulated weapons and explosives. This is ANZSOC Division 11 which includes the following Subdivisions: Prohibited weapons/explosives offences (111) and Regulated weapons/explosives offences (112).

Property damage and environmental pollution

The wilful and unlawful destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property, or the pollution of property or a definable entity held in common by the community. For this division, 'destruction' means altering the property in any way so as to render it imperfect or inoperative. This is ANZSOC Division 12 which includes the following Subdivisions: Property damage (121) and Environmental pollution (122).

Prosecution

The legal representatives of the Crown who bring a case against the defendant.

Proven guilty

An outcome of criminal proceedings in which a court accepts that a charge is proven through a guilty plea entered by a defendant or the defendant is found guilty by the court. Proven guilty corresponds to Charges proven (category 11) in the Method of Finalisation classification.

Public order offences

Offences relating to personal conduct that involves, or may lead to, a breach of public order or decency, or that is indicative of criminal intent, or that is otherwise regulated or prohibited on moral or ethical grounds. In general these offences do not involve a specific victim or victims; however some offences, such as offensive language and offensive behaviour, may be directed towards a single victim. This is ANZSOC Division 13 which includes the following Subdivisions: Disorderly conduct (131), Regulated public order offences (132) and Offensive conduct (133).

Regulated public order offences

Offences involving behaviour that is regulated or prohibited on moral or ethical grounds. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 132 which includes the following Groups: Betting and gambling offences (1321), Liquor and tobacco offences (1322), Censorship offences (1323), Prostitution offences (1324), Offences against public order sexual standards (1325), Consumption of legal substances in regulated spaces (1326) and Regulated public order offences, n.e.c. (1329).

Robbery, extortion and related offences

Acts intended to unlawfully gain money, property or other items of value from, or cause detriment to, another person by using the threat of force or any other coercive measure. This is ANZSOC Division 06 which includes the following Subdivisions: Robbery (061) and Blackmail and extortion (062).

Sentence

A penalty or penalties imposed by a court upon a defendant who is proven guilty of a criminal offence. A sentence can also be called an order.

Sexual assault and related offences

Acts, or intent of acts, of a sexual nature against another person which are non-consensual or where consent is proscribed. This is ANZSOC Division 03 which includes the following Subdivisions: Sexual assault (031) and Non-assaultive sexual offences (032).

Specialist Courts

Courts available in some states and territories that provide support and/or offer access to programs and support services for defendants with particular characteristics. Drug courts and Indigenous courts are examples of specialist courts. The aim of specialist courts is to reduce rates of return to the justice system. Specialist courts are excluded from Criminal Courts data.

Stalking

Acts intended to cause physical or mental harm to a person, or to arouse apprehension or fear in a person, through a repeated course of unreasonable conduct. For the purposes of this group, stalking includes, but is not limited to, activities such as unauthorised surveillance of an individual, interfering with the individual's property (or that of an associate), sending offensive material, and communicating with the person in a way that could be reasonably expected to arouse apprehension or fear. This is ANZSOC Group 0291.

Summary offence

A criminal offence which is regarded as less serious relative to an indictable offence as defined by specific Commonwealth, state or territory legislation (see Indictable offence). Charges relating to summary offences are generally dealt with by a Court of Summary Jurisdiction and do not require a trial by jury in a Higher Court. In some states and territories, a defendant against whom summary charges are laid may be transferred to a Higher Court for sentencing (e.g. if the magistrate wants to impose a penalty which exceeds his/her jurisdictional powers).

Supreme Court

A Higher Court level which deals with the most serious criminal charges and has the greatest legal powers of all the state and territory court levels. A Supreme Court is presided over by a judge, and has jurisdiction to hear trial and sentence matters relating to all indictable offences. In states which have an Intermediate Court, the Supreme Court is usually reserved to deal with the most serious indictable offences, such as murder.

Theft and related offences

The unlawful taking or obtaining of money or goods, not involving the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods, or the receiving or handling of money or goods obtained unlawfully. This is ANZSOC Division 08 which includes the following Subdivisions: Motor vehicle theft and related offences (081), Theft (except motor vehicles) (082), Receive or handle proceeds of crime (083) and Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles) (084).

Theft (except motor vehicles)

The unlawful taking or obtaining of money, goods, services (other than from motor vehicles) or non-motorised vehicles, without the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 082 which includes the following Groups: Theft from a person (excluding by force) (0821), Theft of intellectual property (0822), Theft from retail premises (0823) and Theft (except motor vehicles), n.e.c. (0829).

Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences

Offences relating to vehicles and most forms of traffic, including offences pertaining to the licensing, registration, roadworthiness or use of vehicles, bicycle offences and pedestrian offences. This is ANZSOC Division 14 which includes the following Subdivisions: Driver licence offences (141), Vehicle registration and roadworthiness offences (142), Regulatory driving offences (143) and Pedestrian offences (144).

Transfer to other court levels

A court outcome ordering that a criminal charge be transferred to another court level to be adjudicated and/or sentenced. For all transfers, except those between Higher Court levels, this process is regarded as a method of finalisation for the court level ordering the transfer and a method of initiation for the court level to which the defendant's charge(s) were transferred. Defendants who transfer from one Higher Court level to another will be considered as initiated only once (in the level they first entered) and finalised only once (from the level they finally left). It corresponds to category 2 in the Method of Finalisation classification.

Trial

The examination of, and decision on, a matter of law or fact by a court. Where a defendant enters a not guilty plea or other defended plea in the committal proceedings, they are committed to a Higher Court for trial. In the Higher Courts, trials are usually conducted before a judge and jury whereby the judge rules on questions of law and the jury is responsible for determining whether or not the defendant is guilty. Some states and territories also allow for a trial before a judge alone in the Higher Courts.

Unlawful entry with intent

The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence, where the entry is either forced or unforced. A structure is defined as a building that is contained by walls and can be secured in some form. This includes, but is not limited to, a dwelling (e.g. house, flat, caravan), office, bank, shop, factory, school and church. This ANZSOC Division is 07 Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter. It is not further disaggregated.

Vehicle registration and roadworthiness offences

Offences relating to the registration or roadworthiness of the vehicle itself, rather than the manner in which the vehicle is being driven. For the purposes of this classification, 'roadworthiness' refers to the soundness of road, air and/or sea vehicles. This is ANZSOC Subdivision 142 which includes the following Groups: Registration offences (1421) and Roadworthiness offences (1422).

Withdrawn by the prosecution

The formal withdrawal of charge(s) by the prosecution (e.g. police, Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney-General). This includes nolle prosequi and no true bill. Withdrawal of charges allows the prosecution to charge the defendant on the same incident at a later time. This is a non-adjudicated outcome and corresponds to category 34 in the Method of Finalisation classification.


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