4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2010–11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2012   
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24 February, 2012
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Drop in defendants finalised by Australian courts

The Higher, Magistrates' and Children's courts of Australia all saw a decrease in finalised defendants in 2010-11, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The number of defendants finalised by Magistrates' courts has decreased for all states and territories except Tasmania and the Northern Territory. The largest decreases were seen in Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, with a decrease nationally of 12% in 2010-11. This is the largest decrease in the Magistrates' courts in the past 6 years.

There was a decrease of 12% for defendants finalised in the Children's courts from 2009-10, and a decrease of 3% in the Higher courts.

In the Magistrates' courts, traffic offences continued to be the most common offence type, accounting for 43% of defendants, followed by acts intended to cause injury (11%) and public order offences (8%). Those aged under 35 years accounted for over half of the defendants, with 79% of these being male.

For the Higher courts 53% of defendants were males aged under 35 years. In the Children's courts, 79% of defendants were male. The main offences were acts intended to cause injury (22%) and illicit drug offences (19%) in the Higher courts and theft (21%) and acts intended to cause injury (20%) in the Children's courts.

More details are available in Criminal Courts, Australia 2010-11 (cat. no. 4513.0) available for free download from the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>

Media Note:
  • Offences relate to the most serious offence type with which the defendant was charged.
  • When reporting on ABS data, please attribute either the Australian Bureau of Statistics or ABS as the source.