Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Prosecution Performance Indicators

Prosecution Performance Indicators

In 2016–17, we met all the following prosecution performance indicators:
• prosecutions resulting in a conviction
• defendants in defended summary hearings resulting in a conviction
• defendants in defended committals resulting in a committal order
• defendants tried on indictment and convicted
• prosecution sentence appeals in summary prosecutions upheld.
However, we did not meet the following prosecution performance indicator:
• prosecution sentence appeals in a prosecution on indictment upheld.

Table 1: Prosecution performance indicators for 2016–17, National Totals
DescriptionTargetOutcomeDetails
successful
(Total)
Prosecutions resulting in a conviction*90%99%2,449
(2,480)
Defendants in defended summary hearings
resulting in conviction
60%73%52
(71)
Defendants in defended committals resulting
in a committal order
80%99%349
(352)
Defendants tried on indictment and convicted60%85%69
(81)
Prosecution sentence appeals in summary
prosecutions upheld
60%100%4
(4)
Prosecution sentence appeals in a prosecution
on indictment upheld
60%45%10
(22)
Table 2: Prosecution performance indicators for 2015–16 and 2016–17
DescriptionTarget2015–16**2016–17
Prosecutions resulting in a conviction*90%97%99%
Defendants in defended summary hearings
resulting in conviction
60%64%73%
Defendants in defended committals resulting in a
committal order
80%99%99%
Defendants tried on indictment and convicted60%69%85%
Prosecution sentence appeals in summary
prosecutions upheld
60%25%100%
Prosecution sentence appeals in a upheld or
otherwise successful prosecution on indictment
60%77%45%

Notes:
*For tables 8 and 9 the conviction rate is calculated by taking the number of defendants convicted as a percentage of defendants convicted or acquitted. The calculation does not include defendants where the CDPP discontinued the prosecution against them in its entirety or where a prosecution was commenced and the defendant failed to appear before a court.
**The number of cases on which the percentages were calculated is published in our 2015–16 Annual Report, which is available on our website at www.cdpp.gov.au.

Prosecution appeals against sentence

The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth provides that the prosecution right to appeal against sentence should be exercised with appropriate restraint. In deciding whether to appeal, we consider whether there is a reasonable prospect that the appeal will be successful. Factors we may consider when deciding to appeal include whether:

  • the sentence is manifestly inadequate
  • the sentence reveals an inconsistency in sentencing standards
  • the sentence proceeded on the basis of a material error of law or fact requiring appellate correction
  • the sentence is substantially and unnecessarily inconsistent with other relevant sentences
  • an appeal to a Court of Appeal would enable the court to lay down some general principles for the governance and guidance of sentencing courts
  • an appeal will enable the court to establish and maintain adequate standards of punishment for crime
  • an appeal will ensure, so far as the subject matter permits, uniformity in sentencing
  • an appeal will enable an appellate court to correct an error of legal principle.

In 2016–17, a total of 22 prosecution appeals against sentence in indictable matters were decided. Of those, 10 were upheld while 12 were dismissed. Four prosecution appeals against sentence in summary matters were also decided, all of which were upheld.

Further information is detailed in the 2016-17 Annual Report.