Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Prosecution Statistics

Prosecution Statistics

During the 2019-20 financial year, there were 2,441 cases referred to the CDPP. These cases were referred by 56 partner agencies, this includes 45 Commonwealth investigative agencies and 11 state and territory agencies.

The following tables set out details of prosecutions we conducted in 2019-20

Table 1: Outcomes of successful prosecutions in 2019-20
Defendants convicted of offences prosecuted summarily884
Defendants convicted of offences prosecuted on indictment592
Defendants committed for trial or sentence472
Table 2: Summary prosecutions in 2019-20
Defendants convicted after a plea of guilty797
Defendants convicted after a plea of not guilty28
Defendants convicted ex parte59
Total defendants convicted884
Defendants acquitted after a plea of not guilty7
Table 3: Committals in 2019-20
Defendants committed after a plea of guilty247
Defendants committed after a plea of not guilty225
Total defendants committed472
Defendants discharged after a plea of not guilty4
Table 4: Prosecutions on indictment in 2019-20
Defendants convicted after a plea of guilty539
Defendants convicted after a plea of not guilty53
Total defendants convicted592
Defendants acquitted after a plea of not guilty30
Table 5: Prosecution appeals against sentence in 2019-20
Appeal typeOutcomeSummaryIndictable
Appeals against sentenceUpheld15
Total 18


Table 6: Defence appeals in 2019-20
Appeal typeOutcomeSummaryIndictable
Against conviction onlyUpheld25
Against sentence onlyUpheld2523
Conviction and sentenceUpheld15
Total 4265
In 2019–20, there were 33 successful defence appeals against sentence in New South Wales. Of these, 10 matters (30.3%) involved the judgment in Xiao v R [2018] NSWCCA 4 as a ground of appeal. Xiao is authority for the fact that, prior to 22 June 2020, a sentencing court in New South Wales had to take into account the utilitarian value of an accused’s guilty plea in Commonwealth matters. Xiao resulted in a number of defence appeals by other Commonwealth accused between 2018‑2020. On 22 June 2020, new Federal legislation commenced to provide that the utilitarian value of an accused’s guilty plea is a matter to be considered in sentencing for Commonwealth matters in all jurisdictions of Australia.


The following tables provide statistics covering relevant legislation and referring agencies in relation to matters dealt with in 2019-20

Table 7: Legislation under which charges were dealt with summarily and on indictment in 2019-20
Airports (Control of On-Airport Activities) Regulations 1997 (Cth)50
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth)112
Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth)10
Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth)02
Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cth)65
Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth)10
Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (Cth)30
Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 (Cth)70
Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)23519
Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth)2720
Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth)05
Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth)10
Civil Aviation Act 1988 (Cth)270
Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (Cth)240
Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Cth)180
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth)20
Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth)10
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)01
Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)30
Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)30
Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)11540
Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 (Cth)173
Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 (Cth)5433
Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth)02
Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)837
Criminal Code (Cth)1,7571,878
Criminal Code 2007 (Norfolk Island)532
Customs Act 1901 (CI) (Cth)1355
Customs Act 1901 (Cth)5646
Defence Act 1903 (Cth)20
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)1025
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (Cth)280
Excise Act 1901 (Cth)134
Export Control Act 1982 (Cth)072
Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)01
Firearms and Prohibited Weapons Act 1997 (Norfolk Island)50
Fisheries Management Act 1991 (Cth)113
Foreign Passports (Law Enforcement and Security) Act 2005 (Cth)11
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth)190
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth)190
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019 (Cth)50
Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 (Cth)50
Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth)02
Historic Shipwrecks Regulations 2018 (Cth)20
Jervis Bay Territory Marine Safety Ordinance 2016 (Cth)10
Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 (Cth)30
Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (Cth)100
Marriage Act 1961 (Cth)10
Migration Act 1958 (Cth)1516
National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth)70
National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth)20
Navigation Act 2012 (Cth)01
Passports Act 1938 (Cth)01
Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 (Cth)80
Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 (Cth)10
Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth)1126
Radiocommunications Act 1992 (Cth)12
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth)210
Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)70
Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth)22
Summary Offences Act 2005 (Norfolk Island)10
Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth)1870
Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth)60
Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth)10
Traffic Act 2010 (Norfolk Island)170
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)90
Non-Commonwealth legislation301881
Table 8: Referring agencies: defendants dealt with and on indictment in 2019–20
Australian Border Force3161
Australian Building and Construction Commission00
Australian Bureau of Statistics00
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 40
Australian Communications and Media Authority 00
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission *01
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission *01
Australian Electoral Commission10
Australian Federal Police236326
Australian Financial Security Authority 993
Australian Fisheries Management Authority 112
Australian Maritime Safety Authority 80
Australian Securities and Investments Commission2320
Australian Taxation Office2625
Civil Aviation Safety Authority120
Clean Energy Regulator21
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment *1911
Department of Defence11
Department of Education, Skills and Employment *30
Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business00
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade50
Department of Health64
Department of Home Affairs **30
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science10
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development00
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet00
Department of Social Services *11
Department of the Environment and Energy00
Department of Veterans' Affairs00
Director of National Parks20
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority370
National Disability Insurance Agency *01
National Measurement Institute10
Non Commonwealth Agencies123245
Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations20
Services Australia100
Services Australia - Centrelink40934
Services Australia - Child Support Agency00
Services Australia - Medicare720
Therapeutic Goods Administration00

*New agency on list

**Merged with another agency

‘Defendants dealt with’ includes not only convictions and findings of guilt, but also: matters resulting in acquittals; prosecutions that are discontinued in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth based on evidentiary or public interest considerations; discontinuances as part of a charge negotiation; when a matter scheduled for trial resolves into a guilty plea; when there is a hung jury; a warrant has been issued and the defendant has absconded; and determinations that a defendant is unfit to be tried. It also includes matters where a charge is issued but is unable to be served, and prosecutions commenced in one jurisdiction and recommenced in another because a defendant has moved. It does not include: matters where the CDPP has provided pre‑brief advice to an investigative agency; brief assessments that do not proceed to prosecution on evidentiary or public interest grounds; breach proceedings; or matters determined on appeal.