Population, Crime and Courts: Demographic Projections of the Future Workload of the New South Wales Magistracy

Publisher:
Thomson Reuters
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Judicial Administration, 2014, 23 pp. 233 - 252
Issue Date:
2014
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The New South Wales Local Court is the largest court in Australia. This study seeks to facilitate future planning for the Court by making demographic projections of the criminal workload of the Court over the next 25 years (criminal matters account for 95 per cent of its new lodgements). The study applies criminal conviction rates by age, sex and locality to population projections for the state to produce projections of the number of criminal convictions for the state and its geospatial subdivisions. These statistics are used to derive the demand for magistrates and a comparison is then made of the supply of magistrates under different scenarios. The principal finding is that, due to demographic change alone, the number of criminal convictions is projected to increase by 16 per cent by 2036, with nearly all the increase occurring in Sydney, especially in the city’s west and south west.
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