4515.0 - Federal Defendants, Australia, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2015   
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This publication presents nationally comparable statistics on federal defendants finalised in the Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's Courts within Australia for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. Federal Defendants include persons or organisations charged with at least one offence against Commonwealth legislation within the reference period. The statistics are based on administrative records held by state and territory agencies responsible for courts administration and describe the characteristics of federal defendants, including information on offences, case outcomes and sentences associated with those defendants. Selected time series data are also included where available.


Supplementary release of federal offences

This publication presents data on finalised federal defendants. A second release presenting data on federal offences will be available on the ABS website on 11 August 2015. The second release will present data about federal offences by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC) as well as by an alternative grouping, created to compile groups of Commonwealth offences of a particular interest to users, based on Act and Section information. The supplementary release will also include commentary and explanatory notes that will appear as additional web pages to this release (4515.0).

Changes to publication tables

Publication tables have been re-structured to improve usability and navigation. Data on the characteristics of those federal defendants proven guilty (for one or more federal related offences) are now presented in a separate data cube. Additionally, data published for the proven guilty population have been expanded to include age, sex and more detailed principal sentence data by court level. Other additional data published include:

  • time series data for age, sex, principal federal offence and method of finalisation;
  • mean and median age and duration from initiation to finalisation; and
  • expansion of method of finalisation categories to show transfers separately.
A detailed concordance between the 2012–13 and 2013–14 publication tables is available under the Downloads tab.


To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. From the 2013-14 release, a technique called perturbation has been used. Perturbation involves small random adjustments of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics.

Perturbation has been applied to all Federal Defendants data from 2010-11 onwards. Previously, a different technique was used to confidentialise these data and therefore there may be small differences between historical data presented in this publication and those published in previous issues of this publication. Readers are advised to use the year on year comparisons in the Downloads tab of this publication, rather than directly comparing these data to previous editions.

Further information about perturbation is available in the Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 57–59.


The statistics presented in this publication are sourced from the national Criminal Courts collection conducted by the ABS, and have been compiled according to national standards in order to maximise consistency between the states and territories. The Explanatory Notes, appendices and Glossary provide detailed information on the data sources, counting rules, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


Proportions and percentages cited in the publication text have been rounded to the nearest whole number.


For a listing of ABS publications relating to crime and justice statistics, refer to the Related Information tab.


The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management of the National Criminal Courts Statistics Unit, the National Criminal Courts Statistics Advisory Group, the Court Practitioners' Group and the staff of the various agencies that provide the statistics presented in this publication.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au. The Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.