NATIONAL CRIMINAL COURTS STATISTICS
This publication presents statistics about defendants dealt with by the criminal jurisdiction of the Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's Courts of Australia, for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008. Defendants include persons as well as organisations (for the Higher and Magistrates' Courts only) charged with criminal offences. The statistics are based on data extracted from administrative records held by state and territory agencies responsible for courts administration. The statistics have been compiled according to national standards and classifications (see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 20-26).
The data in the Criminal Courts collection reflects defendants finalised in the court, that 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. However, the data for the New South Wales Magistrates' and Children's Courts are based on finalised appearances rather than finalised defendants. This counting method results in slightly higher population counts than if the finalised defendant was counted (see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 14-15).
The statistics provide a profile of the characteristics of defendants, as well as data about the offences for which they have been charged, their guilt or innocence, and sentence outcomes for those proven guilty.
The Explanatory Notes provide detailed information on the data sources, comparability definitions, counting rules and other technical matters associated with the ABS criminal courts data collection.
For ease of reading, some terms have been abbreviated throughout this publication: 'principal sentence' is referred to as 'sentence' and 'principal offence' is referred to as 'offence'. The term 'and related offences' has also been omitted for the following offences: homicide and related offences; sexual assault and related offences; abduction and related offences; robbery, extortion and related offences; theft and related offences; and deception and related offences.