VICTORIAN lawyers have welcomed a government inquiry into the effectiveness of the state’s Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP).
The OPP has been dogged by allegations of a falling-out between the Director of Public Prosecutions, Jeremy Parke QC, and senior prosecutors.
The Law Institute of Victoria this week said it supports to inquiry, touting public and legal profession confidence in the prosecution process as a key concern.
The inquiry will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Frank Vincent QC, who will look into the workings of the offices of the SPP, chief Crown prosecutor, Crown prosecutors and the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions.
LIV president, Caroline Counsel, said: “The OPP is an independent statutory body and it is important that it continues to operate that way.
“We hope this inquiry is able to restore public and professional confidence in this important office.”
While in opposition, the current Victorian Government had often called for an inquiry into the functioning of the OPP.
The inquiry, however, will have no judicial powers, and the final report, it is understood, will not be tabled in parliament. It will be handed to the cabinet in March this year, and may not be released in full to the public because of its sensitive nature, according to some reports.