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WA appoints new head of prosecutions

Western Australia has appointed a new Director of Public Prosecutions in barrister Joseph McGrath.

user iconThe New Lawyer 28 January 2010 The Bar
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WESTERN Australia has appointed a new Director of Public Prosecutions in barrister Joseph McGrath.


Announcing the appointment today, Attorney General Christian Porter said McGrath was chosen from a highly competitive field due to his outstanding qualifications, on top of his reputation and extensive expertise in criminal and civil law.



McGrath, who will take up the new post on 1 February this year, has 20 years of varied litigation practice. 


“Throughout his legal career he has been involved in both private and government practice, and was a senior assistant director to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.”


Since 2001, McGrath has worked as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers. His practice has included appearing as counsel on behalf of both the State and Commonwealth in the Western Australian Supreme Court and District Court in criminal trials.


McGrath also has defence counsel experience in a range of areas, including complex corporate matters such as insider trading, market manipulation and other fraud matters.


He has acted as a counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the finance broking industry and the Royal Commission into the WA Police Force.


McGrath has also appeared as counsel on behalf of the Commonwealth in the Northern Territory Supreme Court and in criminal appeals in the Supreme Court of WA and the Federal Court of Australia.


“McGrath’s dedication to criminal and civil law is evident in his many memberships to committees of legal associations and standing committees in WA,” the Attorney General said.

He is currently a member of the Law Reform Commission and vice president of the WA Bar Association, as well as a member of the Ethics Committee of the Law Society of WA.


McGrath is also involved in educating our future legal professionals, including teaching advocacy and lecturing at the Faculty of Law at The University of Western Australia on a range of topics over the years.


“The new DPP is a well-rounded, energetic and talented lawyer with a reputation for hard work and fairness," the Attorney said. 


“His extensive experience as counsel in numerous complex criminal matters and his background in the law makes him ideally suited to manage and grow the State’s prosecution services in the very challenging position as Director of Public Prosecutions.

McGrath’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in political science and economics from The University of Western Australia (UWA); a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Australian National University; a Master of Laws from UWA; and a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics.

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