The Practice of the DPP

The conduct of prosecutions, and associated appeals, is the major work of the Office. The Office has a two specialist units for particular parts of the prosecution practice. Those specialist units are:

A Sexual Offences Unit to allow specialisation in the prosecution of sexual assault matters;

A Family Violence team to prosecute family violence matters, a key part of the Family Violence Intervention Program of the ACT.

The Office also has a Coronial Practice. The Director's functions include the function set out in Section 6(1)(d) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1990 of "assisting a coroner in inquests and inquiries". Although this is not a function that is exclusive to the Office, in practice, the coroner is assisted by a prosecutor from the Office in most coronial enquires.

The Office has a Confiscation of Criminal Assets Practice arising from its responsibility in relation to the confiscation of assets used in, or derived from, the commission of criminal offences under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003.

The Office prosecutes Regulatory Matters referred to it by ACT Government agencies and the RSPCA in respect of legislation those agencies administer.

The Witness Assistance Service of the Office provides a range of services to meet the needs of victims and witnesses involved in matters prosecuted by the Office. The service aims to reduce the trauma associated with being a victim or witness of crime.

Prosecutors are supported by Paralegals who perform instructing, research and administrative tasks. Under the unique provisions of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1990 DPP paralegals have the right to appear on behalf of the Office in the Magistrates Court callover list

The Criminal Law Resource Centre co-ordinates the provision of legal research resources.  The emphasis is on the provision of information electronically, including materials that lawyers have been accustomed to getting in paper form, such as legislation and reported cases.