Class 5: criminal proceedings                


Proceedings in Class 5 involve summary criminal enforcement proceedings, usually by government authorities prosecuting offences against planning or environmental laws.


Class 5 prosecutions are heard by a judge without a jury.


Practice and procedure in Class 5 matters can be found in Practice Note Class 5 proceedings.




Fast facts                


In 2019, Class 5 prosecutions were 7% of the Court's finalised caseload.

Of the new prosecutions commenced in 2019: 

32% were by the Environment Protection Authority or Office of Environment and Heritage

4% were by local councils

21% were by the Department of Planning and Environment

38% were by the Natural Resources Access Regulator.

Of the prosecutions determined by the Court in 2019:

63% involved  a guilty plea

10% involved a not guilty plea

28% involved no plea.

Of the prosecutions determined by the Court in 2019:

65% resulted in a conviction

32% resulted in an acquittal

The penalties imposed included fines, orders to pay clean up or investigation costs, publication orders and environmental service orders. Fines ranged from $500 to $348,750.

In 2019, 80% of Class 5 prosecutions were finalised within 16 months of commencement. The median completion time was 374 days.

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