Skip to main content
Our role
The ODPP's main role is to prosecute serious criminal cases in NSW Courts. We prosecute on behalf of the people of NSW.
banner image

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is the independent prosecuting authority of New South Wales (NSW).

The Office was created in 1987 by the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1986 (the Act) and is responsible for the prosecution of all serious offences committed against the laws of the State on behalf of the people of NSW. 

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) acts independently and impartially. The principal functions of the ODPP are to institute and conduct prosecutions for indictable offences in the Local, District and Supreme Courts; and to conduct appeals arising from those prosecutions, including as the responding party, in any court. 

The ODPP advises in, institutes and conducts proceedings in the public interest in accordance with the Prosecution Guidelines. Decisions about criminal prosecutions are made free of inappropriate influence of political, individual or other sectional interests. Solicitors appear and also instruct Crown Prosecutors in courts across NSW in a wide range of matters including:

  • trials and pleas of guilty in the District and Supreme Courts 
  • committal proceedings in the Local Court
  • some summary hearings in the Local Court
  • appeals in the District Court, Court of Appeal, Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court.

The ODPP does not investigate crime – that is the role of investigative agencies such as the NSW Police Force.

The ODPP also has a Witness Assistance Service (WAS) in each office. WAS Officers provide information, support and assistance to victims of crime and witnesses in the matters we prosecute.

Last updated | 23 Aug 2021