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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 183045 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Offenders in the Local Courts: Effects of the Criminal Procedure (Indictable Offences) Act 1995
Author(s): Kate Ellson; Trish Poletti
Date Published: February 2000
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Sydney NSW, 2000
Sale Source: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Level 5
301 George Street
Sydney NSW,
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper examines the impact of Australia's Criminal Procedure Amendment (Indictable Offenses) Act 1995 on the offenses being addressed by local courts, as well as the types of penalties being imposed.
Abstract: In an effort to provide for the more efficient use of district court time, the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Indictable Offenses) Act 1995 revised the procedures under which certain indictable offenses were to be dealt with summarily by the local courts. The Act became effective on September 1, 1995. One measure of the impact of the 1995 amendments is to compare the percentages of sentencing matters addressed in each jurisdiction, with a view to ascertaining the extent to which the local court's share has increased since the amendments. A second measure is to determine whether the penalties imposed in the local courts have become more severe. The study divided offenses into four categories. One figure presents the percentage of all penalties for all criminal offenses dealt with in the district court from January 1990 to December 1998, which could have been imposed by a local court. For the overall period, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of matters sentenced in the district court that may have been addressed at the local court. Further, between 1995 and 1996, a pronounced decrease in the proportion of penalties that could have been imposed at the local court is evident, indicative of changes introduced by the Amendment Act. Statistics maintained by the Judicial Commission indicate that the overall proportion of offenses sentenced in the local courts has increased by approximately 2 percent between 1995 and 1998. This relatively small percentage increase accounts for quite a large increase in the number of individual cases being processed by local courts. The findings from this study can be interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that the Criminal Procedure (Indictable Offenses) Act 1995 has had an effect on the distribution of offenses dealt with in the local courts. 12 figures
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Court management; Court procedures; Foreign sentencing; Municipal courts; Sentencing/Sanctions
Note: Sentencing Trends, Number 19, February 2000
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