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Canberra barristers blame ACT's falling criminal conviction rate on 'cowboy' police who rely on illegal evidence

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has rejected a claim by a senior Canberra barrister that a steep drop in the criminal conviction rate is partially due to shoddy police work and a "cowboy" culture among some officers.

The guilty rate in the ACT Magistrates Court collapsed in recent years, the latest Productivity Commission data shows.

In the five years before 2019-20, 95 per cent of defendants pleaded guilty or were found guilty.

That sank to 65 per cent and 66 per cent in the following two years.

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The exterior of the court, showing the sign and the crest.

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