Our role

 

The NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) prosecutes serious crimes under NSW law on behalf of the community.

These are called ‘indictable’ offences. We also prosecute all NSW child sexual assault offences and criminal cases against NSW police officers, whether or not they are indictable offences.

We are an independent agency and make all prosecution decisions independently and according to our Prosecution Guidelines.

The ODPP does not investigate crime – we take matters over from NSW Police and other investigative agencies, including the Independent Commission Against Corruption, after they have completed their investigations.

In court we represent the community, and must act with fairness and to establish the truth.

The ODPP also has a Witness Assistance Service to provide support and information to vulnerable witnesses in matters we prosecute.

Functions

As the State’s independent prosecutor, the ODPP:

  • decides whether a prosecution should proceed, based on the public interest and the available evidence
  • ensures the charges laid are supported by the evidence
  • prepares cases and presents them in court.

Prosecutions

The ODPP prosecutes about 18,000 matters a year. These include:

  • committal proceedings in the Local Court and Children's Court, to decide whether there is enough evidence for a matter to go to trial
  • trials in the District Court and the Supreme Court
  • appeals, in the District Court, Court of Criminal Appeal and High Court
  • hearings in the Local Court and the Children’s Court.