Do you have a question about the NSW ODPP? We cannot provide legal advice and do not discuss individual cases, but will consider inquiries about the criminal justice system and the process of matters through the court.
Police sometimes seek the ODPP advice as to whether there is sufficient evidence to commence a prosecution. This is the exception rather than the rule. Prosecution Guideline 14 deals with the provision of advice to police.
The Police investigate crime and commence criminal proceedings. When police commence proceedings for a serious criminal matter they subsequently refer the matter to this Office for prosecution. The ODPP then takes over the prosecution of the matter from the Police. The Police still prosecute summary matters themselves in the local court, except where the charge relates to the sexual assault upon a child or involves the prosecution of a police officer.
The Prosecution Guidelines are published electronically by the ODPP, and are publicly available. The Prosecution Guidelines are continually reviewed, revised and republished as required. The latest publication was issued in October 2007, and are currently under review. It is anticipated that the reviewed Prosecution Guidelines will be published in 2014.
If sought, reasons are generally given for decisions made in the course of a prosecution. Reasons for not proceeding are given to a person with a legitimate interest in the matter (e.g. a victim). The reasons are rarely made public because they quite often they involve evidence or comparable information that is not on the public record. See Prosecution Guideline 12 for more information.