Prosecution Guidelines


The ODPP’s Prosecution Guidelines set out the general principles for the initiation and conduct of criminal prosecutions.

They serve to guide prosecutors and to inform the community about actions taken in its name.

The ODPP reviewed the Guidelines following the implementation of the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea reforms of 2018. The consultation draft can be accessed here. Suggestions and input are welcome and can be emailed to The review is expected to be completed in 2019.

The ODPP issued its first prosecution policy and guidelines in July 1987 when it commenced operations. Further editions were published in 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1998. They were consolidated into one document and reissued in 2003, then revised in 2007.

Current Guidelines

The current Prosecution Guidelines – the 2007 edition – are available here, or in sections below.

They should be read in conjunction with the many other instruments that affect the conduct of prosecutions.


ODPP Prosecution Guidelines