Accessing the Land and Environment Court Statistics on JIRS. Accessing the Land & Environment Court statistics on JIRS is quite easy. . 1. The first step is to go to the JIRS website and click on the “L&E Court” link. 2.
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Accessing the Land and Environment Court Statistics on JIRS
Accessing the Land & Environment Court statistics on JIRS is quite easy.
The first step is to go to the JIRS website and click on the “L&E Court” link.
That brings up a new screen entitled “Land and Environment Court”. Under the heading “Sentencing statistics for environmental offences”, click on “Land and Environment Court”.
The data is separated into corporate and individualoffenders because under certain statutes and regulations a different maximum penalty is imposed for corporations and individuals.
For example, the maximum penalty for water pollution offences under s 120(1) of the POEO Act is $250,000 with a further daily penalty of $60,000 for an individual; compared to $1,000,000 with a further daily penalty of $120,000 for corporations (s 123).
Where a case involves a director and corporation, the sentencing outcomes for the director in their individual capacity and for the corporation are recorded separately.
By clicking on the relevant Act (under either Corporations or Individuals), a list of offence sections appears.For example, if you click on Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (Corporations), the following list appears:
Then click on the relevant offence section number; e.g. if s 120 (1) “Pollute any waters” is selected, a graph listing penalty types and their frequency appears. As at October 2008 the graph is as follows:
This is the basic graph – the “Penalty Type” graph.
The basic Penalty Type graph
This basic Penalty Type graph displays the section number, a short description of the offence (left hand corner), the time frame of the sentencing statistics (right hand corner) and the penalties that have been imposed. In addition to fines and imprisonment, the penalties shown are those set out in Part 2 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999: s 10 (dismissal of charges and conditional discharge), s 10A (conviction with no other penalty), s 9 (good behaviour bonds) and s 8 (community service orders).
The cases behind the graphs
It is possible to access the cases behind any bar on any graph. If you click on a bar on a graph, you will be asked if you wish the cases behind the bar to be displayed. If you click ok, then the name, neutral citation and abstract of each case will be displayed. By clicking on the name of a case, the whole judgment can be viewed.
More information about penalties
From the Penalty Type graph, you can obtain more information about the penalties that have been imposed by clicking on any of the bars on the penalty graph. For example, click on the “Fine Only” bar and a menu box appears asking if you wish to switch to “Fine Amounts”. Click “OK” and a new graph is displayed entitled “Fine Amounts”. It shows specified fine amounts and their frequency, together with the total number of cases where a fine was imposed as a penalty.
You may also choose to display the midpoint and 80% range of fines. To do this, click on “View”. A drop down box appears: click on “Midpoint” and “80% range” in this box. The result will appear as vertical dotted lines on the graph, as follows.
Note drop-down menu
Apart from clicking on a bar in the Penalty Type graph to obtain more information about that type of penalty, you can also click on the “Penalties” tab and then select from the drop-down menu which (inter alia) lists two other types of additional information: “Additional Orders” and “Total Monetary Amounts where Additional Orders imposed”.
If, for example, you select “Additional Orders” in the drop-down menu, a new “Additional Orders” graph is displayed as follows:
The “Additional Orders” graph also contains a “Corp + Dir” (corporation plus director) category. This reflects that it is a case where both the corporation and director have been punished. This is relevant to the principle of totality.
For example, if a corporation and its director both receive fines, the penalty type for the corporation will be classified as “Corp + Dir”. This alerts you that a fine was also imposed on the director in the director’s individual capacity.
As stated earlier, by clicking on the “Penalties” tab, you can also access a graph called “Total Monetary Amounts where Additional Orders imposed”. This graph combines the fine penalty with the monetary amount of any additional order.
Objective and subjective characteristics
Any graph may be refined by adding or subtracting the variable objective and subjective characteristics of the offence and the offender, including those referred to in s 241 of the POEO Act (which mandates certain matters to be considered in imposing a penalty.
This is done by clicking on “Offenders” on the top tool bar then selecting from the list in a drop down menu box.
Multiple counts – totality principle
In multiple count matters, the principle of totality is engaged: where the Court sentences an offender for more than one offence, the aggregate or overall sentence must be just and appropriate to the totality of the offending behaviour.
By clicking on the “Offender” tab and then on “Counts” in the drop down menu, you can also access information about single and multiple counts of offences, as follows:
One count: displays sentences for offenders who committed one count of the principal offence.
Multiple counts: displays sentences if a defendant has been sentenced for either more than one count of the principal offence or for multiple offences. If, for example, several fines are imposed all the fines are added and the total effective sentence appears.
Total: displays all the categories described above.