Criminal Law Overview

As the law states, offenders of criminal acts are innocent until proven guilty. Criminal law is a body of laws relating to crimes committed depending on which state of Australia the crimes occur. Below is a summary of laws according to the top states of Australia.

The Scope of Australian Law


The Australian Commonwealth criminal acts arbitration is not as absolute compared to the national states. Criminal laws of the Commonwealth come from the Crimes Act 1914 and Criminal Code Act 1995.

New South Wales

Criminal laws here fall under the consolidation of the Crimes Act 1900, Crimes Act 1914, and Criminal Code Act 1995.

Other Legislations (NSW)

Summary Offenses Act 1988 – reprehensible conduct, slander, improper exposure, possession of knives, and loitering.

Drug Misuse & Trafficking Act 1985

Other acts include the Young Offender Act 1997, Bail Amendment Act 2015, Law Enforcement Act 2002, Evidence Act 1995, and Customs Act 1901.


Criminal acts largely fall under the Criminal Code Act 1899.

Western Australia

Following the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913, legislations are vast. Some prosecuted crimes include drug misuse, firearm and traffic violations.


The majority of crimes fall under the Crimes Act 1958. Other legislation includes but is not limited to the Evidence Act 2008, Summary Offenses Act 1966, and Jury Directions Act 2015.


Here, the Criminal Code Act 1924 covers serious crimes namely murder, manslaughter, theft, rape, cybercrime, treason, and more.

Northern Territory

Similar to two other states legislation, offenses fall under the Criminal Code Act 1983.