The Magistrates’ Court sentences the vast majority of cases in Victoria’s courts – over 90% of all cases sentenced.
From July 2004 to June 2021, the Magistrates’ Court sentenced an average of 83,024 cases each year. In comparison, the higher courts (the County and Supreme Courts) sentenced an average of 1,890 cases per year. The Children's Court sentenced an average of 5,038 cases per year.
The number of cases sentenced in the Magistrates' Court peaked at 99,723 in 2015–16. The COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in court proceedings from March 2020 onwards. These delays resulted in fewer cases being sentenced in the last two financial years. There were 64,653 cases sentenced in 2020–21, a decrease of 29.5% from the 91,649 cases sentenced in 2018–19.
Note: Cases that received a criminal justice diversion plan are included in the graph. The criminal justice diversion plan is not a sentence, but it is an important disposition available in the Magistrates' Court.
Number of cases sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
Hover over the line in the graph to display the number of cases for each year.
|Year||Number of cases|
Source: Court Services Victoria, unpublished data. Note that the data may be subject to revision to reflect amendments to records in Court Services Victoria’s databases.