1307.8 - Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2007  
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COURTS

Criminal court system

The ACT Supreme Court is the superior court of record in the ACT. It has unlimited civil and criminal jurisdiction and exercises an appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in respect of the Magistrates Court and Tribunals. The ACT Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice, three resident Judges, twenty additional Judges (each of whose primary commission is as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia) and a Master.


The ACT also has a Magistrates Court which has limited jurisdiction to hear and determine civil and criminal cases across a range disputes, including:

  • offences under the criminal law;
  • applications for domestic violence, personal and workplace protection orders;
  • civil debt and damages, small claims, criminal injuries and worker's compensation; and
  • commercial tenancies.

The Magistrates Court's jurisdiction also includes the Coroner's Court and the Children's Court. The following Tribunals operate within the framework of the Magistrates Court:
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
  • Tenancy Tribunal;
  • Credit Tribunal;
  • Discrimination Tribunal;
  • Guardianship & Management of Property Tribunal;
  • Health Professionals Tribunal;
  • Mental Health Tribunal; and
  • Residential Tenancies Tribunal.

A finalised defendant is a person or organisation for whom all charges have been formally completed so that the defendant ceases to be an item of work to be dealt with by the court. There were 166 finalised defendants in the ACT Higher Courts during 2005-06, an increase of 15% from 2004-05. Nationally, the number of finalised defendants decreased by 4% over the same period.

9.11 HIGHER COURTS, Finalised defendants

ACT
Australia
no.
no.

2000-01
205
18 029
2001-02
171
17 997
2002-03
164
16 643
2003-04
119
17 315
2004-05
144
16 964
2005-06
166
16 319

Criminal Courts, Australia, 2005-06, (cat. no. 4513.0).


Court cases can be analysed by the duration or the time elapsed. For the ACT Higher Criminal Courts, the duration period which had the highest number of defendants finalised was the 52 weeks and over period with 42 individuals, or 25% of the total ACT defendants. The 39 and under 52 weeks period had the least number (24 individuals or 15% of the total).


The total number of defendants finalised in the ACT Higher Criminal Courts in 2005-06 (165) was approximately 1% of the national figure (16,318).

9.12 HIGHER COURTS DEFENDANTS FINALISED, Method of Finalisation and Duration - 2005-06

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
Aust. derived

Acquitted
Under 13 weeks
13
3
68
7
3
7
-
-
102
101
13 & under 26 weeks
60
27
55
6
12
11
7
3
180
181
26 & under 39 weeks
69
53
43
10
33
9
-
5
224
222
39 & under 52 weeks
42
54
25
9
61
11
5
6
213
213
52 weeks and over
75
71
44
57
257
10
8
8
530
530
Total
259
207
235
89
366
48
24
21
1 249
1 249
Guilty finding by court
Under 13 weeks
3
-
105
9
-
13
-
-
129
130
13 & under 26 weeks
18
8
54
7
8
22
4
-
122
121
26 & under 39 weeks
63
46
44
13
28
21
3
-
220
218
39 & under 52 weeks
55
59
30
11
52
13
3
4
226
227
52 weeks and over
161
142
76
133
317
21
10
3
863
863
Total
300
255
309
173
405
90
20
7
1 560
1 559
Guilty plea by defendant
Under 13 weeks
415
186
2 666
107
634
170
141
27
4 346
4 346
13 & under 26 weeks
803
527
1 022
147
377
63
57
19
3 015
3 015
26 & under 39 weeks
554
453
403
78
118
26
17
22
1 671
1 671
39 & under 52 weeks
298
286
171
37
103
15
11
12
933
933
52 weeks and over
463
298
207
129
213
26
25
28
1 389
1 389
Total
2 533
1 750
4 469
498
1 445
300
251
108
11 354
11 354
Non-adjudicated defendants
Under 13 weeks
53
11
385
87
59
27
11
7
640
640
13 & under 26 weeks
71
19
250
45
66
29
8
7
495
495
26 & under 39 weeks
56
22
164
33
36
12
3
8
334
334
39 & under 52 weeks
34
15
109
17
28
10
3
3
217
219
52 weeks and over
67
24
197
47
105
20
7
3
470
470
Total
281
91
1 105
229
294
98
31
27
2 156
2 156
Defendants finalised
Under 13 weeks
482
199
3 224
210
696
217
155
34
5 217
5 217
13 & under 26 weeks
952
581
1 381
205
463
125
76
29
3 812
3 812
26 & under 39 weeks
742
574
654
134
215
68
25
37
2 449
2 449
39 & under 52 weeks
429
414
335
74
244
49
20
24
1 589
1 589
52 weeks and over
766
535
524
366
892
77
50
42
3 252
3 252
Total
3 371
2 303
6 118
989
2 510
536
326
166
16 319
16 319

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
Criminal Courts, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 4513.0).


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