The Magistrates’ Court sentences the vast majority of cases in Victoria’s courts – over 90% of all cases sentenced. From July 2004 to June 2020, the Magistrates’ Court sentenced an average of 84,133 cases each year. In comparison, the higher courts (the County and Supreme Courts) sentenced an average of 1,921 cases per year. The Children's Court sentenced an average of 5,217 cases per year.
The number of cases sentenced in the Magistrates' Court peaked at 99,723 in 2015–16. However, the number decreased by 20.7% from 91,649 in 2018–19 to 72,643 in 2019–20. This decrease was largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused delays in court proceedings from March 2020 onward.
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 included because 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Source: Court Services Victoria, unpublished data.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.