Major Drug Offences

The Sentencing Advisory Council has examined current sentencing practices for major drug offences.

This project continues the Council’s Current Sentencing Practices series of reports. These reports expand on the data presented in the Council’s Sentencing Snapshots series. The Current Sentencing Practices series has so far examined aggravated burglary and causing serious injury offences. Another project now underway is examining current sentencing practices for serious driving offences.

Major Drug Offences: Current Sentencing Practices examines higher courts sentencing from July 2008 to June 2013 for:

  • trafficking in a commercial quantity of drugs
  • trafficking in a large commercial quantity of drugs
  • cultivating a commercial quantity of narcotic plants.

The report provides detailed information about the types and lengths of sentences imposed for each offence and a profile of offence and offender characteristics. It considers how sentencing practices are affected by factors such as:

  • the quantity of drugs trafficked or cultivated
  • the role of the offender (i.e. in the case of trafficking, whether the offender is a principal or proprietor, plays a significant role or plays a minor role)
  • prior offending
  • guilty pleas.

Major Drug Offences: Current Sentencing Practices was published in March 2015.