find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Tink Bill’s tinkering with DPP opposed

Tink Bill’s tinkering with DPP opposed

THE LAW SOCIETY of NSW has condemned state Opposition plans to establish a Director of Public Prosecutions oversight committee, arguing it is an unwarranted and dangerous political intrusion…

THE LAW SOCIETY of NSW has condemned state Opposition plans to establish a Director of Public Prosecutions oversight committee, arguing it is an unwarranted and dangerous political intrusion into the role and functions of an independent office.

The oversight committee proposed by Shadow Attorney General Andrew Tink is the result of the Coalition’s “long-standing” aim to introduce a parliamentary joint committee to monitor and review the exercise of the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP’s) functions, said president of the Law Society Gordon Salier.

The Coalition also wanted to set the Office of the DPP annual budget and comment on budget management. And it wanted “the power to veto appointment of a person as Director”, Salier said.

Arguing that the Office of the DPP had initially been created to ensure that the prosecutorial decision making would be removed from any political influence, Salier told Lawyers Weekly that “really, the independence of the office should be retained to ensure a fair, open and transparent justice system”.

The ability to monitor and review the Director’s functions would enable the parliamentary committee to require the Director to explain and justify prosecution decisions. The committee would then comment on those decisions in its reports.

Salier explained that the Office of the DPP cannot be equated with bodies such as ICAC, the NSW Ombudsman or the Police Integrity Commission, despite Tink’s suggestion.

It was “quite proper” that investigatory bodies, with powers of compulsion and interrogation, and bodies that report on conduct by other government agencies, should be subject to such oversight, Salier argued. But it was “not appropriate for a prosecuting agency, which can be equated with a law firm” to do the same, he added.

“All of this runs contrary to what we say was the reason for which the office was created,” Salier said.

The DPP’s budget is currently set by an annual process involving the Attorney General and the Treasury. But potential exists for unwarranted interference with the activities of the Office of DPP by exercising control over its budgetary allocation.

The Law Society has been told that an executive board has now been established. “Apparently it has independent representation and oversees the management and administration of the office,” Salier said. This adds strength to the view that “Tink’s committee is unnecessary,” he added.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Tink Bill’s tinkering with DPP opposed
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
07:03
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...