Issuu on Google+

ANNUAL REPORT 2007/08 DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

SERVING JUSTICE SERVING THE COMMUNITY


CONTENTS Victoria’s prosecution service

3

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

6

Message from the Director of Public Prosecutions

7

Appeals against sentence in 2007/08

8

Celebrating 25 years of service to the Victorian community

11

Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors: a new era begins

12

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

15

Message from the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions

16

What we do

19

Our people

20

The OPP’s legal practice and organisational structure

22

Delivering a high quality, effective prosecution service

25

Pioneering a new approach to prosecuting sex offences

39

Reducing delays in the criminal justice system

43

Supporting victims and witnesses

46

Influencing legal policy and law reform

49

Building a distinctive, high-performing prosecution practice

53

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS 61 2007/08 Committee Report

62

FINANCIAL REPORT OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS*

63

2007/08 Financial Report

64

APPENDICES* 89 2007/08 Appendices

90

*These sections are available on CD in some versions of this report

This report presents: • The 2007/08 Annual Report of the Director of Public Prosecutions pursuant to section 12 of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 • The 2007/08 Annual Report of the Committee for Public Prosecutions pursuant to section 45 of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 • The 2007/08 Annual Report of the Office of Public Prosecutions pursuant to the Financial Management Act 1994. Full financial statements for the Office of Public Prosecutions are provided in this report. Additional information about the Office of Public Prosecutions can be viewed at: www.opp.vic.gov.au

Annual Report development Office of Public Prosecutions 565 Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000 Writing and editorial services: JF Communications Design and production: X2 Design


VICTORIA’S PROSECUTION SERVICE The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions (SPP), the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) and Crown Prosecutors form Victoria’s public prosecution service. This service prosecutes people charged with serious crimes in Victoria and conducts these prosecutions in a spirit of fairness and independent of the government of the day. The core functions of the service are: • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution • reviewing cases submitted by the police for prosecution • determining the charge where a decision is made to prosecute • preparing cases for court • presenting cases in court • supporting victims and witnesses through the prosecution process • where appropriate, making applications to confiscate assets that have been used in the commission of a crime or purchased with the proceeds of crime. The work of the DPP, SPP and OPP is governed by many factors, including the current law in Victoria, specific legal processes that apply to particular cases, prosecutorial ethics, guidelines issued by the DPP and discretionary decisions that are made in each case according to its facts and circumstances. THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (DPP) The Director of Public Prosecutions conducts proceedings on behalf of the State of Victoria (also known as the Crown) in the County Court, Supreme Court or High Court in relation to serious crimes committed in Victoria. The DPP also conducts committal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court and assists the Coroner with inquests. In addition, the DPP has the power to appeal against sentences in certain circumstances. In deciding whether or not to prosecute, the DPP follows nationally agreed guidelines and considers the interests of the victim, the suspected offender and the wider community. In exercising these functions, the DPP must also have regard to considerations of justice and fairness, as well as the need to conduct prosecutions in an effective and efficient manner. The DPP is an independent statutory officer appointed by the Governor in Council and must be a person of no less than eight years’ standing as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (OPP) The Office of Public Prosecutions represents the DPP. Operating like a large legal firm with the DPP as its only client, the OPP prepares cases for the DPP against people charged with serious crimes and then presents these cases in court using in-house Crown Prosecutors or by briefing barristers from the Victorian Bar. The head of the OPP is the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions (who is appointed by the Governor in Council). The OPP is an independent statutory authority comprising the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions and a staff of solicitors, legal executives, legal support and corporate services staff. The OPP administers the budget for both the OPP and DPP. The OPP also prosecutes matters whenever the Supreme Court and County Court goes “on circuit” to conduct hearings in locations across regional Victoria. In conducting prosecutions, the OPP provides advice to the police and other agencies on prosecuting cases, negotiates the early resolution of cases, keeps all cases under continuous review and provides support to victims and witnesses. As well as preparing and prosecuting cases, the OPP conducts and responds to appeals against sentencing and conviction orders of the Magistrates’ Court, responds to applications for bail in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, brings breaches of non-custodial orders back before the Supreme and County Courts, and conducts litigation on behalf of the DPP to confiscate assets from criminals. The OPP also provides advice to other agencies and participates in law reform activities relating to prosecutions. MATTERS PROSECUTED BY THE DPP AND THE OPP Matters prosecuted by the DPP and the OPP involve serious crimes or matters that are of significance to the fair and effective operation of the Victorian criminal justice system. In particular, the DPP prosecutes: • homicides • corruption cases involving police • serious sex offences • major commercial crimes • drug trafficking cases • serious driving offences, such as culpable driving • occupational health and safety matters involving death or serious injury. In addition to prosecuting cases

investigated by Victoria Police, the OPP prosecutes serious offences investigated by a range of other agencies, including WorkSafe, VicRoads, Corrections Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority and various government departments. CROWN PROSECUTORS Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors are statutory appointees who appear in court to represent the State of Victoria in criminal cases. They are barristers who work alongside the Office of Public Prosecutions, effectively acting as the OPP’s in-house counsel. Crown Prosecutors present the case against an accused person in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and the Supreme Court. They also represent the Crown in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. They provide advice on prosecuting cases to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions and staff of the OPP, and make decisions about whether an accused person should be indicted for trial. Crown Prosecutors act on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions and are answerable to the DPP for the performance of their duties. The day-today operations of the Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers are managed by the Chief Crown Prosecutor. DECIDING TO PROSECUTE In making the decision to prosecute, the DPP considers the following matters: • Is there sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution? There must be admissible, substantial and reliable evidence that a criminal offence has been committed by the alleged offender. • Is there a reasonable prospect of securing a conviction? This includes an assessment of how strong the case is likely to be when presented in court. • Taking into account all the circumstances, does the public interest require a prosecution to be pursued? Generally, the DPP will proceed where there is sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution. However, the DPP is not obliged to prosecute all offences and must weigh up the efficient and appropriate use of public resources against factors such as the seriousness of the alleged offence, the availability of any alternatives to prosecution, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the need to deter others from committing OPP Annual Report 2007/08 3


VICTORIA’S PROSECUTION SERVICE

similar offences and the attitude of the victim to a prosecution. • Do special considerations apply to certain types of prosecution? The prosecution of a juvenile is regarded as a severe step and the DPP may consider that there are more effective methods of dealing

4

Annual Report 2007/08

with the matter, unless the seriousness of the offence or the circumstances of the offender dictate otherwise. Similarly, there may be more effective options for dealing with offenders who have a mental impairment (such as an intellectual disability or severe mental illness).

The DPP also has the power to refuse to pursue a prosecution at any stage until a verdict is reached. The DPP exercises this power by entering a nolle prosequi with the court. In effect, this notifies the court that the prosecution will not proceed and results in the matter being discontinued.


SUMMARY OF THE PROSECUTION AND COURT PROCESS Investigation stage

Crime reported

Investigation by police

Charges are not filed

Police charge the alleged offender • Offender held in custody (remand) or released on bail or summonsed to appear in court

Summary (less serious) offences prosecuted by police

Indictable (serious) offences forwarded to OPP for prosecution

Pre-trial stage (Magistrates’ Court)

Filing hearing and committal mention • May include bail application

Straight hand up brief (bypass committal hearing)

Contested committal • Witnesses may be required to give evidence

Discharged

Committed to stand trial

DPP will review and may take to trial Plea not guilty Reserved plea

Plea guilty

Trial stage (County or Supreme Court)

Possible trial

End of case

Pre-trial hearing • Case management conference • Directions hearings • Possible bail applications

Trial • Witnesses are required to give evidence

Guilty

Not guilty

Hung jury

Possible retrial

End of case

Plea stage (County or Supreme Court)

Sentence stage (County or Supreme Court)

Appeal stage (Court of Appeal or High Court)

Plea hearing • Victim Impact Statement • Plea guilty • Compensation Sentencing hearing • Post sentence consider Victims Register

Appeals against conviction and/or sentence • Possible bail application

Sentence appeal dismissed

Sentence appeal allowed and offender is resentenced

End of case

Conviction appeal dismissed

Conviction appeal allowed

End of case

Possible retrial

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 5


ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS


MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS JEREMY RAPKE QC The past year has been a time of change, challenge and new directions for Victoria’s prosecution service. Since my appointment as Director of Public Prosecutions in November 2007 I have focused upon maintaining the legacy of excellence in prosecutions inherited from my predecessor, Paul Coghlan QC (now Justice Coghlan of the Supreme Court of Victoria), I have strived to continue to deliver a fair, efficient and effective prosecution service for Victoria. The nature of criminal prosecutions is changing rapidly, and today much more is expected of prosecutors. The matters we prosecute now are more varied and complex. We are required to keep pace with a wide-ranging legislative agenda and constantly evolving legal practices and procedures. We are subjected to more intense media and public scrutiny. New technologies are being used in crime-fighting. Delays in the criminal justice system are at an all time high. Victims of crime and vulnerable witnesses require and deserve maximum support. I can proudly say that Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors meet all these challenges with professionalism, integrity and enthusiasm – thereby maintaining the highest standards of service to the courts and community. The growing range of prosecution matters means that, more than ever before, we can offer some very exciting and rewarding employment prospects for the legal profession. This is reflected in the success of our ongoing recruitment drive, resulting in a number of new prosecutors joining our team in 2007/08, including some from interstate. In March 2008, we welcomed a new Chief Crown Prosecutor, Gavin Silbert SC. With more than 30 years of experience across all jurisdictions, Gavin is a formidable prosecutor and an invaluable addition to Victoria’s prosecution service. I look forward to working closely with him. The past year also saw the continued and successful prosecution of organised crime and police corruption. To this end, we worked closely with Victoria Police, the Office of Police Integrity and other external agencies. The important aspect of ensuring a fair trial in some high-profile cases required the prevention of the screening of the Underbelly television series. We successfully prosecuted matters involving deaths and serious injuries on behalf of WorkSafe, playing our part in

ensuring that all Victorians work in safe and healthy environments. Our Specialist Sex Offences Unit has proved a success, achieving outstanding results in its first full year of operation. Hundreds of complex cases have been handled by the unit and the unit’s approach is demonstrative of exemplary practice for prosecutions generally. In recognition of the significance and complexity of sex offence cases, I have directed that some cases should be heard in the Supreme Court (where they fit prescribed guidelines). This introduces greater flexibility in the listing of cases in Victoria’s criminal courts and enables the Supreme Court to develop binding rules for use by other courts trying cases of sexual assault. The confiscation of tainted property and assets continues to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime. Our dedicated team of skilled civil lawyers in the Proceeds of Crime Directorate has undoubtedly contributed to the success of Victoria’s asset confiscation scheme, while also establishing important precedents in this area of law. I am committed to continuing the practice of my predecessor in ensuring that every sentence passed by the County and Supreme Courts is carefully reviewed. Since my appointment, I have instituted 54 appeals to the Court of Appeal. Regrettably, in my view, much of the data on sentencing demonstrates that some courts underrate the seriousness of criminal offending by imposing inadequate sentences. I believe that sentences imposed ought to reflect more closely the penalties set by Parliament, which in turn are reflective of community concerns and expectations. I am disappointed that many Crown appeals are dismissed, despite the courts being satisfied that the sentences were manifestly inadequate, due to the appellate principle of “double jeopardy”. I am working to address this anomaly to ensure that justice is delivered to all Victorians. On 1 January 2008, Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities came into full operation. In response, I have developed a new Director’s Policy, taking into account the operation of this new legislation. Further, our prosecutors have participated in training workshops about the Charter, as it is clear that this legislation adds a new dimension to our practice and it is likely that we will

find ourselves at the forefront of this developing area of law. I am also committed to developing a career path for solicitor advocates within the prosecution service. With the right training, support and experience, these solicitors can – and do – provide a very high standard of prosecutions advocacy. Their availability will reduce my reliance on the private Bar for representation and make prosecutions work more attractive for young solicitors. I am hopeful that this approach will encourage experienced advocates to remain with the Office of Public Prosecutions, instead of seeking opportunities elsewhere. I thank the staff of the OPP and the Crown Prosecutors for their dedication and hard work throughout 2007/08. I particularly thank Angela Cannon, Solicitor for Public Prosecutions until May 2008, for steering the reorganisation of the OPP and for her unwavering commitment to enhancing the reputation of our prosecution service throughout Australia. I want to pay a special tribute to my predecessor, Paul Coghlan QC, for his leadership, guidance and support during his tenure as DPP. He was a great inspiration to all who work in prosecutions and he can be confident that we will continue to live up to the high standards he set as Victoria’s fifth DPP. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the appointment of Victoria’s (and Australia’s) first Director of Public Prosecutions. In such a landmark year, it is appropriate that 2008 saw Melbourne hosting the annual conference of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors – a conference that involved a record number of prosecutors from around Australia and the Pacific Rim. It provided further recognition of Victoria’s reputation for excellence and leadership in prosecutions. For the past 25 years, Victoria’s prosecutors have served the community with great distinction. During my term as DPP, I intend to build on this strong tradition – maintaining the integrity, impartiality and independence of Victoria’s prosecution service as we move into new areas of practice, take on new challenges and go forward as the premier prosecution service in Australia. JEREMY RAPKE QC Director of Public Prosecutions DPP Annual Report 2007/08 7


APPEALS AGAINST SENTENCE IN 2007/08 The Director of Public Prosecutions plays a vitally important role in maintaining community trust and confidence in the criminal justice system. One of the DPP’s main functions in this regard is appealing against sentences imposed by the courts on the grounds that they are inadequate. Section 567A of the Crimes Act 1958 provides for an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a sentence passed by the County Court or the Supreme Court where the DPP considers that a different sentence should have been passed and is satisfied that an appeal should be brought in the public interest. There are well-defined legal limits to the DPP’s power to appeal. As the power to appeal encroaches upon the principle that a person should not be placed in double jeopardy (which states that no one should be tried or punished twice for the same offence), the DPP must exercise the right to appeal according to wellestablished legal guidelines. In general, the DPP will not launch an appeal unless an error of sentencing principle by the sentencing judge can be demonstrated. Such an error may include sentences that are manifestly inadequate or inconsistent in sentencing standards. The Director for Public Prosecutions,

Jeremy Rapke QC, has indicated publicly that he intends to make sentencing reviews a priority of his term, with the aim of encouraging the courts to give sufficient regard to the maximum penalties set by the Victorian parliament in matters such as drug trafficking, homicide, serious sex crimes and major fraud. In 2007/08, 27 DPP appeals against sentence were completed. Three of these appeals were abandoned. Of the 24 appeals where judgment was delivered by the court, eight were allowed and 16 were dismissed. A sample of these appeals is set out on the following pages. A list of all Crown appeals instituted pursuant to section 567A of the Crimes Act 1958 is set out in Appendix 3. DPP v PAU Mr P, aged 27, received a sentence of 11 years and nine months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of theft, three counts of armed robbery, one count of arson and one count of intentionally causing serious injury. These offences occurred over a period of four weeks, during which Mr P and a co-offender stole two cars and set one of them alight, held up a TAB and then shot and seriously injured a South Melbourne Market stallholder, after following him from the market, demanding money and threatening him with a baseball bat.

While it was the co-offender who shot the stallholder, Mr P did nothing to stop him or to assist the victim. The consequences for the stallholder were profound and permanent. Aged in his early thirties, he is now a paraplegic and is confined to a wheelchair. He also suffered substantial financial losses. At the time of sentencing, Mr P was serving a sentence of six years’ imprisonment (with a non-parole period of four years and six months) imposed upon him in 2006 for a rape committed in 1999. The DPP appealed the sentence on the grounds that the judge failed to order that any part of the total sentence be served on top of the earlier sentence. The DPP argued that this meant that Mr P would be eligible for parole after only six and a half years, a manifestly inadequate outcome. The Court of Appeal agreed with the DPP, noting that the serious and violent nature of the offences – and their grave and lasting consequences – warranted “a stern, effective penalty in addition to the sentence imposed on the earlier count of rape”. In the lead judgment, Justice Nettle stated that any minimum term imposed “must be sufficient to constitute just punishment and to maintain general deterrence”. In this instance, “the absence of some cumulation, and more particularly the consequent

UNDERBELLY BANNED IN VICTORIA In the Victorian Supreme Court in February 2008, the DPP sought a court order restraining the broadcasting of the Channel Nine television program, Underbelly, due to concerns about the effect the program would have upon the fair trial of the accused in an upcoming murder case. The television drama series purported to depict the so-called “gangland wars”, which raged among a number of criminal factions in Victoria between 1998 and 2006. Justice Betty King granted the order after viewing all 13 proposed episodes of the program and agreeing that it might interfere with the ability of a jury to consider the evidence in the pending murder trial. The Supreme Court and the DPP were concerned to ensure, as far as possible, that the accused would have a fair trial. Justice King initially made an order prohibiting “the transmission and publication of the television series Underbelly ... by any television channel, free-to-air or cable/pay television in the State of Victoria until after the completion of the trial and verdict ...”. Justice King’s orders also prohibited publication of the program on the internet in Victoria. This order was varied by Justice King after a 8

DPP Annual Report 2007/08

newspaper reported that the first episode of Underbelly had been recorded interstate and played to patrons of a hotel in Melbourne by the proprietor. At the time of the making of the orders, the Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Jeremy Rapke QC said: “Although the temporary prohibition on broadcasting Underbelly is unfortunate for some people, including those Victorians who wanted to watch the program as scheduled, the granting of the injunction by Justice King recognises the importance of an accused person’s right to receive a fair trial, and the undesirability of the timing of criminal trials being influenced by television programming.” Following the hearing, General Television Corporation Pty Ltd broadcast the first episodes of Underbelly throughout Australia, with the exception of Victoria. General Television Corporation Pty Ltd also appealed against Justice King’s decision to the Victorian Court of Appeal. On 26 March 2008, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. However, the Court amended the orders made by Justice King to limit their operation to Channel Nine and its related corporate


APPEALS AGAINST SENTENCE IN 2007/08

setting of a non-parole period of only six and a half years, has resulted in an effective additional minimum term which is so manifestly inadequate as to warrant the exceptional step of appellate intervention”. DPP v TOUMNGEUN Mr T pleaded guilty to two counts of recklessly causing serious injury to Mr J, the brother of his then de facto partner. Concerned about his de facto partner’s care of their four children and aggrieved by her extended family’s influence and their drinking, Mr T threw a chair at Mr J, punched him and then hit him with a bottle in another person’s house. Mr J sustained serious and permanent injuries – his right forearm was fractured and his left forearm was lacerated to the bone, severing a nerve and tendons. Mr T was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of 18 months. The DPP appealed against the sentence on the basis that it was manifestly inadequate, noting that the maximum sentence for the offence was 15 years’ imprisonment. The Court dismissed the DPP’s appeal. The Court found that the judge had taken into account all relevant factors, including the gravity of the offence and its impact on the victim, as well as a number of

significant mitigating factors. These factors included Mr T’s difficult upbringing as part of a refugee family, his good work history and lack of convictions for violent offences, the fact that he cares for two of his children and is a loving and responsible father, and the long delay of three and a half years between the offending and the imposition of the sentence. Justice Neave indicated her support for the principle that the Court of Appeal should not deny the right of a sentencing judge to act mercifully where there are good prospects for an offender’s rehabilitation. She stated that, in the particular circumstances of this case, the judge was “entitled to show mercy” to Mr T and that the sentence imposed upon him should not be overturned. DPP v SMEATON Mr S was 31 years old, a long-term drug user with many prior convictions for violent offences and drug related matters, and on parole for attempted armed robbery when he assaulted his 23-year-old former girlfriend in a public shopping mall. Mr S had approached the woman and asked her if she was there to buy heroin. After she told him that she was not, Mr S became abusive and aggressive, punching the woman to the head and repeatedly

kicking her in the head after she fell to the ground. Mr S admitted that the motive for his attack was anger at the victim’s refusal to assist him to “score” heroin. While the victim’s injuries were not as severe as might have been expected, she sustained swelling of her brain and received a five-centimetre cut to her face, which was expected to leave a scar. Mr S was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 20 months, for causing serious injury. The DPP appealed the sentence, contending that the objective seriousness of the offending, the effect of the offence on the victim, and the need for deterrence, denunciation and community protection, warranted a significantly greater sentence. The Court canvassed the issues involved in the matter, including the long-term drug-based relationship between Mr S and his former girlfriend, as well as Mr S’s willingness to plead guilty at an early stage and his background of deprivation and disadvantage. While Justice Nettle noted that “the judge in this case was faced with a difficult sentencing task”, he concluded that the sentence was manifestly inadequate. Justice Nettle’s view was that the sentence “would shock the public conscience”, given the nature and gravity of the offence and the extent of Mr S’s criminal history.

entities, but warned that any person who with knowledge of the orders sought deliberately to frustrate their effect could be liable for a contempt of court. On 31 March 2008, Mr G, was found guilty of the murder of Lewis Moran. This meant that the orders made by Justice Betty King and the Court of Appeal prohibiting the publication of Underbelly in Victoria ceased to have effect. However, due to there being a number of criminal proceedings pending in Victoria that could be adversely affected if ‘Underbelly’ was shown, the DPP continued to caution members of the public and commercial organisations from deliberately publishing any part of the program in Victoria.

DPP Annual Report 2007/08 9


APPEALS AGAINST SENTENCE IN 2007/08

Justice Dodds-Streeton commented that “violence, and in particular violence by men against women as a means of control in current relationships or in relationships which have ended, is a prevalent and even critical social evil”. In her view, the sentence failed to “sufficiently express the deep abhorrence excited by a violent and brutal physical assault by an adult male on a slight young woman, which is in no degree abated by the fact of a prior relationship between the victim and the perpetrator”. The Court increased Mr S’s sentence to five years’ imprisonment, with a nonparole period of three years. While stating that the principle of double jeopardy made it inappropriate to order the cumulation of the total effective sentence and the sentence imposed for the earlier rape, the Court re-sentenced Mr P, increasing the non-parole period in respect of all sentences to eight years and six months. DPP v McMASTER The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the DPP against a sentence of 12 years and six months’ imprisonment imposed on Mr M for the manslaughter of his partner’s five-year-old son. The DPP appealed against the sentence on the ground that

10 DPP Annual Report 2007/08

it was manifestly inadequate and that the judge should have imposed a sentence of 15 years or more. The DPP also brought the appeal to test whether sentences for the unlawful killing of children are in line with community expectations. Mr M had assaulted the child on many occasions, resulting in bruising, two skull fractures and internal injuries. He admitted that he had beaten the child with a heavy strap in the weeks leading up to his death, which coincided with the child having a bicycle accident. Mr M initially offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but that offer was rejected and he was tried for murder before a jury, which could not agree on a verdict. The DPP then accepted Mr M’s renewed offer to plead guilty to manslaughter. Justices Ashley, Neave and Lasry found that the sentence originally imposed was adequate, noting that “it was not enough for the DPP to show that the judge could have imposed a higher sentence. It had to be shown that the sentence he imposed was flagrantly, shockingly, inadequate”. The Court’s view was that the sentence imposed on Mr M was “by conventional standards, an extremely heavy sentence for a manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act to which the

offender had pleaded guilty”. The three judges observed that a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment on a plea of guilty to a manslaughter of this kind would be “far outside past sentencing practice”. The Court also stated that the barrier to success in appeals of this nature is high because it subjects the offender to a kind of double jeopardy. The Court observed that “the barrier is also difficult to jump because there is no single correct sentence in any case. Sentencing is not a simple exercise in arithmetic, but a balancing out of considerations.”


CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE VICTORIAN COMMUNITY In 1983, Victoria became the first jurisdiction in Australia to establish a Director of Public Prosecutions, following the enactment of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1982 by the Cain Government. The creation of an independent prosecuting service in Victoria is recognised as one of the most significant improvements made to Australia’s criminal justice system, with the Commonwealth and all other states and territories subsequently following Victoria’s leadership and establishing statutorily appointed Directors of Public Prosecutions. Victoria’s first DPP, John Harber Phillips QC (later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) took up his appointment in February 1983 and served as DPP until November 1984. He was followed over the next 25 years by John Coldrey QC, Bernard Bongiorno QC, Geoff Flatman QC, Paul Coghlan QC and Jeremy Rapke QC. Over the years, the DPP’s resources and workload have increased dramatically. When John Harber Phillips QC took up his appointment in 1983, he had only a few legal officers. Today, Jeremy Rapke QC is supported by 25 Crown Prosecutors and around 280 staff employed by the Office of Public Prosecutions. The budget for the DPP’s first year of operation was a little over $5.5 million, compared with today’s annual budget of around $50 million. In 1984, the total number of briefs prepared and hearings attended by the DPP’s office was around 6,000. In 2007/08, the OPP prepared over 37,000 briefs and attended around 35,000 hearings.

The nature of prosecutions in Victoria has also changed over the last 25 years. Modern prosecutors now need to be familiar with other branches of the law, such as commercial law and family law. New areas of prosecution work have emerged, including computer crime and confiscation of the proceeds of crime. Prosecutors are now much more supportive of victims and witnesses; they need to understand developments in forensic science; and they must be familiar with the use of technology in acquiring and presenting evidence. Victoria’s public prosecution service now also engages closely with other agencies working in the criminal justice system and actively participates in law reform and legal policy changes. Prosecution services have also extended into regional Victoria. While the nature and scale of the DPP’s operations has changed, the fundamental principle behind the work of the office remains the same: that the conduct of prosecutions should be independent of the government of the day. In 2008, the DPP and the OPP will celebrate 25 years of fair, independent and impartial service to the Victorian community with a number of events and activities, including a Gala Dinner with DPPs from around Australia, a function for OPP staff and “The Pursuit of Justice”, a 25th anniversary commemorative publication.

JOHN HARBER PHILLIPS QC 1 February 1983 – 6 November 1984

JOHN COLDREY QC 7 November 1984 – 18 February 1991

BERNARD BONGIORNO QC 19 February 1991 – 3 November 1994

GEOFFREY FLATMAN QC 21 February 1995 – 18 July 2001

PAUL COGHLAN QC 9 October 2001 – 7 August 2007

JEREMY RAPKE QC 7 November 2007 – Present

DPP Annual Report 2007/08 11


VICTORIA’S CROWN PROSECUTORS A NEW ERA BEGINS

In 2007/08, Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors entered a new era with the departure of former Chief Crown Prosecutor, Mr Jeremy Rapke QC, to become Director of Public Prosecutions and the appointment of Mr Gavin Silbert SC (top right) as his replacement. Several new prosecutors also joined Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers from interstate and the private Bar. Announcing the appointment of Mr Silbert as Victoria’s new Chief Crown Prosecutor in March 2008, AttorneyGeneral Rob Hulls noted that his “skills, talent and experience make him an outstanding appointment as Chief Crown Prosecutor”. Mr Silbert brings more than 30 years’ experience as a barrister to his new position, including extensive criminal law experience as a Crown Prosecutor and in private practice. He has prosecuted many high-profile cases, including Supreme Court murder trials, and has considerable appellate experience before the Court of Appeal and as a junior before the High Court of Australia. Mr Silbert also has experience in administrative and commercial law, including appearing before the Cole Commission Inquiry into the UN Oil For Food Program. Throughout 2007/08, Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors continued to deliver a high standard of service to the community – a standard that Mr Silbert is keen to maintain. “Victoria is pre-eminent in prosecutorial standards,” he says. “We will continue to set the benchmarks for others to follow and we will continue to provide an educative service in prosecutions practice that extends across the Pacific region.” The workload of prosecutors remains high. In 2007/08, Crown Prosecutors completed more than 3,000 presentments and provided over 5,000 advisings, 12 DPP Annual Report 2007/08

including over 1,200 advisings in relation to plea offers. During the year, Crown Prosecutors conducted a number of major prosecutions, including high-profile organised crime and police corruption trials, large-scale commercial fraud and significant homicide cases. Mr Silbert says that the practice of running large, complex and high-profile cases out of Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers will continue. “We have built a strong reputation in prosecuting these cases successfully,” he notes. ”We intend to continue to develop our expertise and experience in these major cases – backed by the hard work and support provided by the OPP’s solicitors.” The OPP also introduced a new process for allocating more complex cases to Crown Prosecutors within the office – a process that is more streamlined, reduces risk and ensures that cases are matched to prosecutors with relevant expertise and experience. Two areas of prosecutions that grew rapidly in 2007/08 were occupational health and safety, and confiscation of the proceeds of crime. As the Senior Crown Prosecutor involved in these expanding areas, Mr Peter Rose SC says that they “reflect the changing role of Crown Prosecutors in that they are essentially civil matters, not criminal matters”. Mr Rose points out that with prosecutions practice now on the cutting edge of these emerging and growing areas, there is an increasing need to recruit Crown Prosecutors with civil and commercial law backgrounds. In 2008, Melbourne hosted the annual conference of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. Bringing together prosecutors from around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region, the conference addressed legal and practical issues of relevance to modern prosecutorial practice. Topics covered by the conference

included innovations in the criminal law, human rights in an age of terrorism, sentencing and juror satisfaction. Hosting the conference in Melbourne enabled Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors to highlight their achievements. In particular, DPP Jeremy Rapke QC led a major session on the use of technology in the courtroom, supported by Crown Prosecutor Chris Beale and Rod Hume and Robert Iurato from the OPP’s audio-visual unit. Looking ahead, Mr Silbert will oversee a review of Prosecutors’ Chambers to ensure that the heavy workloads of the Crown Prosecutors are managed effectively and efficiently. In line with the DPP’s commitment to reducing delays in the courts, Crown Prosecutors will continue to adopt a strong focus on resolving matters in a timely manner and contributing to early resolution initiatives undertaken by the OPP. Crown Prosecutors will also be closely involved in improving the responsiveness of the criminal justice system to victims and witnesses of serious crimes. Further challenges are likely to arise for prosecutors in relation to the implementation of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. Mr Silbert is confident that Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors are more than capable of meeting any challenges that may come their way. “For many years, our Chambers has been a leader in criminal advocacy and prosecutions practice, and our work over the past 12 months has reinforced that leadership,” he says. “We also understand that the community’s confidence in the justice system depends in part upon our competence, professionalism and integrity – qualities that will remain valued, supported and upheld by Victoria’s Crown Prosecutors.”


CROWN PROSECUTOR PRESENTMENTS TOTAL

CROWN PROSECUTOR ADVICE TOTAL

3500

6000 3095 2643

2500

2634 2371

4284

2472 4000

2000 1238

1803

1500 1000

5376 5000

TOTAL ADVICE

TOTAL PRESENTMENTS

3000

3585

3555

3000 2631 2000

898 1306

659

500

1000 298

0

247

0 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03

2003–04 2004–05

2005–06 2006–07 2007–08

1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05

YEAR

2005–06 2006–07 2007–08

YEAR

CROWN PROSECUTOR ADVICE RE: PLEA OFFER TOTAL

CROWN PROSECUTOR GENERAL ADVICE TOTAL

1400

5000 1241

1200

4135 4000

1000

3648

3451

800 636

718

600 418

400

GENERAL ADVICE

ADVICE RE PLEA OFFER

4108

3137

3390

3000 2461 2000 1238 1000

200 0

20

32

68

170

134

278

215

0

1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 YEAR

1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03

2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 YEAR

DPP Annual Report 2007/08 13


Carmel Barbagallo Crown Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo sometimes feels as if she’s doing a “tour of duty” of prosecutions services in Australia, having worked as a prosecutor in Queensland, Western Australia and now Victoria. “I came to Melbourne because Victoria’s prosecutions service has a reputation for excellence that is well-known right across the country,” says Carmel. “In my view, it’s the best prosecutions office in Australia, partly because it is so specialised and partly because of the wealth of experience and knowledge within the office.” Since joining the office as a Crown Prosecutor in January 2008, Carmel has found that it has lived up to her expectations. “This is an office that continually does challenging and demanding work,” she says. “I feel that I am improving, learning and broadening my experience – and that I’m doing this surrounded by good people who are skilled, knowledgeable and passionate about what they do.” Carmel has been highly impressed with the work of the OPP’s solicitors. “The solicitors who instruct me are very, very good,” she says. “I simply could not do my job without them. It gives me a great sense of confidence that briefs are always well put together, cover all the issues and have taken into account the rights and concerns of victims.” Carmel also praises the OPP’s Witness Assistance Service. “They not only support victims and witnesses, they provide great support for us as prosecutors,” she says. Carmel is enthusiastic about her future as a prosecutor. “I’m very comfortable representing the community and I enjoy the responsibility of being firm, but fair, in prosecuting,” she says. “I want to continue to do challenging work – by that, I don’t mean high-profile cases, but work that is going to tax me. “The fact is that I just love this job. It’s challenging, exciting and rewarding. What more could you ask for?”

14 DPP Annual Report 2007/08


ANNUAL REPORT OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

15


MESSAGE FROM THE SOLICITOR FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS STUART WARD

In prosecuting the most serious criminal offences in Victoria on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Office of Public Prosecutions is of vital importance to the confidence, security and good governance of the Victorian community. Prosecuting serious crime is hard work. The cases are difficult and demanding, with increasing complexity and size, and an unrelenting volume. They often involve human tragedies that are emotionally draining. Our work is conducted under pressure and scrutiny – from those involved in the cases, from the courts and from defence legal practitioners – and under the spotlight of the media, which often reports our work as leading news items. The law is constantly changing, and we must capture, analyse and apply those changes. Our commitment to supporting victims of crime has been absorbed into our practice. We operate on a tight resource base. Underlining all of this, we strive for fair and just outcomes; we are conscious of the importance of maintaining an independent prosecution service; and our objective is to handle every case to the highest professional standards. That we meet the daily challenges of our work is a tribute to the talented and loyal staff who have chosen to work at the OPP. This Annual Report reflects their dedication and it is fitting that the Report profiles some staff, while emphasising the importance of all our staff to our collective performance. The OPP has built a strong reputation over many years. Our challenge and aim is to continue to improve our standing and to be recognised as a centre of excellence and leadership – within the legal and broader community, throughout Australia and internationally. Responding to this challenge, we are 16 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

building a modern, dynamic, specialist legal practice. The program to achieve this is extensive, involving structural reform and remodelling business and governance processes. The new business model is based on a case management approach with cases allocated to solicitors from the earliest possible stage in the court cycle. This not only promotes early resolution, it provides continuity for victims and witnesses, police and defence practitioners. Centrally managed file allocation also allows flexibility within Directorates to respond to changing demands and pressures, as well as providing a greater variety of work to solicitors. In 2007/08 we commenced, and indeed went a long way towards completing, the implementation of a new legal practice structure, incorporating seven Directorates and the Higher Court Appeals Unit. Significantly, one of the Directorates is that of Victims Strategy and Services, elevating the status of victim support services within the Office. Other specialist Directorates include Proceeds of Crime and the Specialist Sex Offences Unit. Eleven areas of legal specialisation have also been created. The specialties include “staple” areas such as drugs, sex offences, fraud, and homicide, as well as emerging areas such as early resolution and advocacy, mental impairment, organised crime, proceeds of crime, and external agencies (including WorkCover and environmental protection). A specialty for “Circuit” has been created to recognise the different needs in prosecuting matters in regional Victoria compared to Melbourne. As with any major reform program, at times it has been testing and unsettling. However, with the end in sight, it is exciting to see the opportunities and benefits that are flowing. I acknowledge the patience and support of staff during the development and implementation of these

changes, and I thank them for their input. The new arrangements seek to improve opportunities for staff at the OPP. Solicitors will have the option of pursuing careers focused on management, legal specialty and/or advocacy, with the capacity to move between the three areas. For the administrative staff who so ably support the legal practice, a new administrative model is being developed. It is important that we provide an environment that acknowledges, stimulates and challenges staff, so that we can continue to attract and retain people of the highest calibre in a competitive market. We also continue to expand our practice in areas such as confiscation of the proceeds of crime and serious occupational health and safety offences. Both areas demand new skills and fresh approaches for prosecutors. Twelve months after establishing the Specialist Sex Offences Unit, it is clear that our pioneering approach to prosecuting serious sex offence cases is proving highly successful. We are achieving strong results with a high level of guilty pleas in these cases that have been historically difficult, reducing the need for victims to give evidence in court and avoiding the associated trauma and distress. In 2007/08 a new fee structure and Service Level Charter for the private Bar was introduced. With new contracts and business rules for the engagement of private counsel, we will be able to more effectively monitor and manage our briefing expenditure, which now accounts for approximately one-quarter of the OPP’s annual budget. The creation of a new Counsel Advisory Group ensures that Crown Prosecutors are matched with the most complex and risky cases, deserving of their expertise and experience. A Legal Practice Manager has been recruited to oversee the practice. Working


cooperatively with the General Manager of Corporate Services, the Legal Practice Manager will provide executive support to the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions. The appointment of Michael Hoyle to the position of General Manager for Corporate Services is an important bridge between the two streams, as he has previously worked as a senior solicitor at the OPP. Much of our effort during the year was focused on the organisational review, but improvements in a number of keys areas were made which are critical to our objective of a modern legal practice. These included: • a strong focus on management of workloads, improving work environments and enhancing employee health and safety • a new Learning and Development program for staff, which is an important adjunct to new business processes and

expectations of staff • appointing the OPP’s first Senior Communications Advisor to deal with media enquiries and enhance our external communications • developing a data and analytical capacity to manage what has become a complex legal practice, where our capacity to identify trends, allocate and prioritise resources, and understand the broader influences on our work is critical to improving and gaining efficiencies - and supporting future funding bids. We could not have achieved our success without the cooperation of many other criminal justice agencies. I thank those who worked in partnership with us in 2007/08, especially the courts, Victoria Police and the Department of Justice. We will continue to work with other agencies to ensure that the criminal justice system is operating in a fair,

effective, and efficient manner. Finally and importantly, I want to acknowledge Angela Cannon, who left the OPP in May 2008 after serving as Solicitor for Public Prosecutions for two years. Angela’s vision for a 21st century prosecution practice and her commitment to turning that vision into reality has left the OPP with a great and enduring legacy. STUART WARD Solicitor for Public Prosecutions (Acting)

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 17


Angela Cannon Solicitor for Public Prosecutions July 2006 to May 2008 Angela Cannon was appointed Victoria’s Solicitor for Public Prosecutions in July 2006.. Prior to joining the OPP, Angela worked in the Department of Justice, initially as Senior Criminal Law Officer and later as Director, Legal Policy and Court Services. During her time with the Department, Angela worked on a number of special projects, including the Attorney-General’s Justice Vision Statement, the Pathways to Justice Sentencing Review, the creation of Victoria’s first Drug Court and initiatives under the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement. In her two years as Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, Angela commissioned a major organisational review of the OPP and commenced an extensive reorganisation of the Office’s legal practice. She believed that the OPP needed to make substantial changes to its structure, processes and systems to meet the changing and growing demands on prosecutors. She noted in the OPP’s 2006/07 Annual Report that change was needed “to take the OPP forward as a dynamic, high performing and modern legal practice capable of delivering a 21st century prosecutions service”. Angela recognised that the OPP’s corporate governance and administrative functions also needed strengthening in an era where greater accountability and professionalism is required from public agencies. She also saw this strengthening as critical to providing higher levels of support to the OPP’s solicitors and Crown Prosecutors, improving the employment conditions, health and safety of staff, and opening up more rewarding careers in prosecutions. Angela also believed that the OPP should be more actively engaged in broader legal policy and practice issues, using the expertise and experience of its staff – as well as the extensive data and knowledge accumulated by the Office – to explore new approaches to prosecuting and play a leading role in improving the operations of the criminal justice system. On her departure from the OPP, Victoria’s Director for Public Prosecutions, Jeremy Rapke QC, listed Angela’s many achievements: “She has brought a level of fiscal responsibility to the OPP that is the envy of many statutory bodies. She has been successful in securing unprecedented levels of funding from the government for the Office.” “She has been in the forefront of introducing statewide initiatives aimed at reducing delays in the criminal justice system. She has commenced the process of setting up this office’s first permanent regional centre and has secured funding for that project. She has driven important changes in how we handle sexual offences and treat victims of crime and vulnerable witnesses. She has been actively involved in a number of major law reform issues, all of which touch the work that we do. “She has forged and cultivated valuable relationships and partnerships with heads of jurisdictions and outside agencies. And she has enhanced the reputation of this office throughout Australia.” In May 2008, Angela resigned from her position to spend more time with her young family. Her vision, leadership and drive have laid down a strong foundation for the future. Her commitment to equipping Victoria’s prosecution service for the challenges ahead will continue to be valued and appreciated by the OPP for many years to come.

18 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


WHAT WE DO In prosecuting serious crimes on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the OPP provides a number of important services to the Victorian community: WE DELIVER A HIGH QUALITY PROSECUTION SERVICE The OPP prosecutes all serious crimes in Victoria, including homicides, serious sex offences, drug trafficking, serious assaults, armed robberies, workplace deaths, serious driving offences and major frauds. We also prosecute cases involving organised crime and police corruption. We aim to provide a high quality prosecution service, recognising that such a service is essential to bringing offenders to justice, reducing crime and maintaining public confidence in the criminal justice system. We also aim to reduce delays in the system. In delivering our prosecution service, the OPP works collaboratively with other organisations that form part of the criminal justice system, including Victoria Police, the Office of Police Integrity, Corrections Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid, the courts, victim assistance groups, and solicitors and barristers.

WE SERVE REGIONAL VICTORIA The OPP prosecutes matters whenever the Supreme Court and County Court conducts hearings in regional Victoria. Our Circuit Section prepares cases for prosecution, briefs barristers to appear in court and travels to the regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Horsham, Warrnambool, Mildura, Morwell, Bairnsdale, Sale, Shepparton, Wangaratta and Wodonga for hearings. The Circuit Section also liaises with and provides advice to other agencies such as Victoria Police and the Victorian Court Network and undertakes community education in regional Victoria for local communities and agencies involved in the justice system. WE SUPPORT VICTIMS AND WITNESSES OF CRIME The OPP provides support for victims and witnesses of serious crime as part of its prosecution service. Our Witness Assistance Service (WAS) assists victims and witnesses by providing information about court procedures, running pre-court conferences to explain how the courts operate and the process

involved in giving evidence, conducting courtroom tours and supporting victims and witnesses in court. WAS also provides post-hearing de-briefings to support victims who are traumatised by giving evidence or who are unhappy with the outcome of cases. In addition, WAS produces educational material and provides advice and training for community groups and Victoria Police. WE INFLUENCE LEGAL POLICY AND LAW REFORM The OPP identifies and undertakes activities designed to improve and modernise the law, the operation of the criminal justice system and the prosecution process. We work with Victoria Police, the Department of Justice, the courts, the legal profession and community groups to identify and respond to significant law reform issues. We also play an influential role in the development of legal policy and practice in Victoria by providing advice to the Victorian Government, supporting the implementation of new legislation and participating in law reform activities.

THE OPP’S MISSION IS TO: • CONDUCT A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT PROSECUTION SERVICE AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF VICTORIA’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM • ENSURE THAT OUR SERVICE MEETS COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS OF FAIRNESS, IMPARTIALITY AND INDEPENDENCE IN APPLYING THE LAW • INSPIRE PUBLIC TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN VICTORIA’S PUBLIC PROSECUTION SERVICE AND IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 19


OUR PEOPLE At 30 June 2008, around 280 people were employed by the OPP. In addition, 25 Crown Prosecutors were employed as in-house counsel, comprising eight Senior Crown Prosecutors and 17 Crown Prosecutors. Nine recent law graduates were undertaking the Articled Clerkship Program. The majority of the OPP’s staff are involved in the conduct of prosecutions. Other legal staff work in appeals or in policy and advice. Staff who are not directly involved in legal functions provide victim and witness support, legal support (such as registry, briefing, audio visual and library services) or corporate services (such as project management, performance monitoring, human resources, financial

and facilities management and staff development and training). These services are overseen by the General Manager Corporate Services. OUR PROGRAM FOR ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE In 2006/07, the OPP commenced a multiyear organisational change program, which aims to position the OPP to better respond to the changing needs and challenges of the criminal justice system. The program’s scope is extensive and touches all areas of the OPP’s corporate services and legal practice. Further details of the program are set out on pages 53 – 60 of this report.

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM AT 30 JUNE 2008

Jeremy Rapke QC Director of Public Prosecutions

Stuart Ward Solicitor for Public Prosecutions (Acting)

Gavin Silbert SC Chief Crown Prosecutor

Suzette Dootjes Legal Practice Manager (Acting)

Michael Hoyle General Manager Corporate Services

Jeremy Rapke QC was appointed Victoria’s Director for Public Prosecutions in November 2007. Before becoming DPP, Mr Rapke served as Victoria’s Chief Crown Prosecutor for two years and was a Senior Crown Prosecutor from 1995 to 2005. Mr Rapke has practised law for 36 years and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1999.

Stuart Ward was appointed Acting Solicitor for Public Prosecutions in June 2008. Mr Ward worked at the OPP from 1987 until 1997, at which time he was the Manager of the Commercial Crime Group. He returned to the OPP as Legal Practice Manager in late 2007 after an absence of 10 years, during which he managed the legal and investigative functions at the Office of Fair Trading and Business Affairs, and held appointments as Deputy Chairperson of the Business Licensing Authority, Chairperson of the Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund Claims Committee and Acting Director of Liquor Licensing.

Gavin Silbert SC was appointed Victoria’s Chief Crown Prosecutor in March 2008. Mr Silbert has more than 30 years experience as a barrister in all jurisdictions, including the High Court and Court of Appeal. Prior to his appointment, Mr Silbert worked in private practice with a focus on criminal law. He was appointed a Senior Counsel in 2007.

Suzette Dootjes joined the OPP in 1986. She has worked in a variety of positions within the OPP’s legal practice, most recently as a Program Manager, Eastern Region, Circuit Section. Ms Dootjes has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Master of Laws.

Michael Hoyle was appointed General Manager Corporate Services in May 2008. Michael has worked in the legal practice of the OPP as a Principal Solicitor (Proceeds of Crime, General Prosecutions and the Corruption and Specialist Prosecutions Unit). Before joining the OPP in August 2004, Michael was a partner of the commercial law firm DLA Phillips Fox.

20 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


Bruce Gardner Directorate Manager Policy and Advice After 26 years working with the OPP, there’s not much Bruce Gardner doesn’t know about prosecuting. Talk to anyone in the office and they will mention Bruce (the OPP’s only Grade 7 Senior Technical Specialist) as a valued, respected and approachable source of advice and guidance in their work as prosecutors. The OPP’s legal database is even known as ‘Brucebase’, reflecting Bruce’s role in creating and maintaining the comprehensive system – but also as a tribute to his encyclopedic knowledge about prosecutions in Victoria. Bruce’s career with the OPP has spanned most aspects of prosecutions, including a stint working on County Court matters, a ten-year period as Assistant to the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions (then John Buckley), heading up the Policy Advisings and Court of Appeal Unit for fourteen years, and now manager of the new Policy and Advice Directorate. He continues to enjoy working at the OPP because every day brings something new. “There is a multitude of legal and procedural issues that arise pretty much on a daily basis,” he says. “Much of it is cutting edge in the sense of it being something that is new to this office, new to prosecutions or new to the criminal justice system. Essentially, we help to develop new and emerging areas of jurisprudence – and that’s not something many legal practitioners can say.” Bruce also assists solicitors in the OPP deal with legal issues that arise in their cases. “A lot of unusual problems come up in the OPP’s practice,” notes Bruce. “We provide any advice, support and direction our prosecutors might need to work through those problems. We also keep an eye on how these issues affect prosecuting and criminal law more generally, as well as their impact on the overall court system.” Bruce is also responsible for managing a large number of Director’s Policies (which regulate most areas of legal operations within the OPP). “Policy work is very dynamic,” he says. “We are constantly writing or updating policies to keep pace with amendments and reforms. It’s very satisfying to provide material to the staff that will help them to apply the law consistently and effectively.” The broader, systemic side of Bruce’s work involves liaising and consulting with external agencies, such as Victoria Police, the Department of Justice, the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, the Law institute of Victoria and others. “At any given time, we will be engaged in a wide range of activities covering the full spectrum of criminal law in Victoria – from reviewing legislation and proposing reforms to the law through to providing advice to various inquiries and overseeing new court processes,“ he says. “It’s a very diverse and constantly changing mix of issues and activities – and it’s why I continue to find the OPP a very interesting and rewarding place to work.” OPP Annual Report 2007/08 21


THE OPP’S LEGAL PRACTICE AND ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE Prior to 2008, the OPP’s prosecutorial functions were structured around 20 sections and units. Currently, as part of the office’s major organisational change program, the OPP’s legal practice is being reorganised around seven directorates, a Higher Court Appeals Unit and specialist legal practitioners. DIRECTORATE A COMPLEX CRIME This Directorate prosecutes complex/high risk matters. It covers organised crime, police corruption, major drug cases and complex commercial crime. DIRECTORATE B PRINCIPAL PROSECUTIONS The Principal Prosecutions Directorate prosecutes a wide range of indictable criminal matters in the County and Supreme Courts, including homicides,

DIRECTORATE C SPECIALIST SEX OFFENCES UNIT This Directorate is responsible for prosecuting all serious sex offences in Melbourne and for overseeing and advising on the prosecution of these offences in regional Victoria. The Specialist Sex Offences Unit adopts an innovative, specialised approach to prosecuting these offences, bringing together solicitors and advocates with expertise in serious sex crime cases.

DIRECTORATE D BRIEFING SERVICES AND APPEALS This Directorate manages the internal and external briefing operations of the OPP, including all aspects of the office’s relationship with the private Bar. It supports the Counsel Advisory Group, which matches complex cases with prosecutors based on their expertise and experience. The Directorate includes the County Court Appeals Section (which conducts and responds to appeals against sentencing and conviction orders in the Magistrates’ Court) and the Bail and Breaches Section (which responds on behalf of the DPP to applications for bail in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, and brings breaches of noncustodial orders back before the Supreme and County Courts).

Vacant Solicitor for Public Prosecutions ACTING Stuart Ward

Bruce Gardner Directorate Manager F Policy and Advice

serious assaults, serious driving offences and cases involving mentally impaired defendants. The Directorate assists the Coroner in various matters and conducts prosecutions on behalf of external agencies, such as WorkSafe, Corrections Victoria and government departments.

OFFICE STRUCTURE

Office of the Solicitor

Brett Sonnet Manager Higher Court Appeals

Stuart Ward Legal Practice Manager ACTING Suzette Dootjes

Michael Hoyle General Manager Corporate Services

Jennifer Chamberlin Manager Transition Unit

Vaille Anscombe Directorate Manager A Complex Crime

Vacant Finance Manager ACTING Eddie Chew

Projects & Performance Catherine Nicols Sam Jones

Stephen Bird Directorate Manager B Principal Prosecutions

Sam Kenny Manager Human Resources

Adriaan Bendeler Library Manager

Helen Fatouros Directorate Manager C Special Sex Offences Unit

Zeljko Matijevic Manager Information Technology Services

Rod Hume Manager Audio Visual

Rod Gray Directorate Manager D Briefing Services & Appeals

Andrew Sutherland Manager Facilities

Carl Barbaro Manager Registry

David Gray Directorate Manager E Proceeds of Crime

Charlene Micallef Directorate Manager G Victims Strategy & Services

22 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


DIRECTORATE E PROCEEDS OF CRIME The Proceeds of Crime Directorate brings applications under the Confiscation Act 1997, which provides a scheme for confiscating assets that have been used in the commission of a crime or purchased with the proceeds of crime. DIRECTORATE F POLICY AND ADVICE The Policy and Advice Directorate provides leadership on legislation and legal policy matters relating to prosecutions. It conducts research into – and provides advice on – matters affecting the policy, practices and work of the DPP and the OPP, as well as responding to and participating in law reform activities. The directorate also provides advice to external agencies. It reports directly to the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions.

DIRECTORATE G VICTIMS STRATEGY AND SERVICES This Directorate builds on the work of the OPP’s Witness Assistance Service and provides information and support to victims and witnesses of serious crimes. The Directorate also develops and participates in strategies and activities designed to improve the responsiveness of the criminal justice system to victims and witnesses. HIGHER COURT APPEALS UNIT This unit is responsible for preparing and instructing in appeals against conviction and sentence by convicted persons, appeals against sentence by the DPP to the Court of Appeal and appeals to the High Court.

LEGAL PROSECUTION SPECIALISTS At 30 June 2008, the OPP had appointed 11 Legal Prosecution Specialists covering the areas of organised crime, corruption, drugs, commercial crime, homicide and coronial, sex crime, proceeds of crime, early resolution and advocacy, external agencies, mental impairment and circuit operations. These senior prosecutors use their expertise and experience to manage and oversee complex prosecutions, mentor other solicitors, implement new legislation and policy, and enhance the OPP’s leadership and reputation in their areas of speciality.

LEGAL PRACTICE STRUCTURE Vacant Solicitor for Public Prosecutions ACTING Stuart Ward Office of the Solicitor Stuart Ward Legal Practice Manager ACTING Suzette Dootjes

Vaille Anscombe Directorate Manager A Complex Crime

Stephen Bird Directorate Manager B Principal Prosecutions

Helen Fatouros Directorate Manager C Special Sex Offences Unit

Rod Gray Directorate Manager D Briefing Services & Appeals

Gary Ching Legal Prosecution Specialist Special Sex Offences Unit

Peter Atkinson Manager Bail & Breaches

Jack Vandersteen Legal Prosecution Specialist Advocacy Early Resolution

Suzette Dootjes Legal Prosecution Specialist Circuit Operations

Irene McGregor Legal Prosecution Specialist Corruption

Robert Siracusa Legal Prosecution Specialist External Agencies

Michael Knight Manager County Court Appeals

Lucia Palgan Legal Prosecution Specialist Drugs

Richard Lewis Legal Prosecution Specialist Homicide & Coronial Inquests

Adriana Civitella Manager Briefing Services

Vicki Prapas Legal Prosecution Specialist Organised Crime

Julie Carpenter Louise Wilkinson Legal Prosecution Specialists Mental Impairment

Bruce Gardner Directorate Manager F Policy and Advice Brett Sonnet Manager Higher Court Appeals

David Gray Directorate Manager E Proceeds of Crime

Damian Martin Legal Prosecution Specialist Proceeds of Crime

Charlene Micallef Directorate Manager G Victims Strategy & Services Anne O’Brien Victims Specialist

Joan VanStaveren Legal Prosecution Specialist Commercial Crime/Fraud

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 23


Susie Gray, Anthony McQuire, Kristie Churchill Articled Clerks Since 1998, the Office of Public Prosecutions has offered an Articled Clerkship Program to law graduates. The 12-month program gives graduates experience in a range of legal practice areas before they are admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor by the Supreme Court of Victoria. During the program, articled clerks are rotated through the various sections of the office, gaining experience in managing cases, preparing legal advice, instructing Crown Prosecutors and outside counsel, and appearing in courts and tribunals. Clerks are also given the opportunity to work at relevant external agencies, such as the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. This year, the OPP selected nine graduates from around 150 applicants for the Articled Clerkship Program. Commencing in March 2008, each articled clerk will rotate through at least four sections of the OPP, enabling them to undertake a variety of prosecutions work, become familiar with legal processes and procedures, and gain a working knowledge of how the OPP operates and the matters it prosecutes. It’s a diverse and comprehensive syllabus – and a steep learning curve for all graduates accepted into the program. The youngest of this year’s clerks, 22-year-old Susie Gray (top right), graduated from Victoria University last year. She says that “almost every day a new challenge comes up, there are new areas of the law to be learnt or legislative changes to be monitored – sometimes it can be a bit daunting”. But Susie says that senior solicitors in the office are very supportive of the articled clerks. “There is a wealth of knowledge here to tap into,” she says. “The other articled clerks have also been fantastic. It is a very warm and friendly workplace where you can grow and develop.” Susie is presently on her first rotation in the Policy and Advice Directorate and is working on a plea file: talking to victims, preparing restitution orders, and instructing barristers in the County Court. She has also been involved in providing legal advice to Victoria Police and the Department of Justice. Susie sees her future as being in prosecuting. “I like the hands-on nature of prosecuting in court, dealing with various people from different backgrounds and learning about the many sides of the criminal justice system,” she says. “Way, way into the future I could possibly aim at being a Crown Prosecutor – you never know.” While also graduating in 2007, Anthony McQuire’s journey to the OPP has followed an interesting path. He has played professional cricket at the highest level (including playing in the NSW and Victorian squads and the Prime Minister’s XI against the West Indies), worked in criminal law firms in Sydney and London, been a dispute resolutions officer with a number of workers’ compensation insurance firms and worked for a year in 24 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

a small family law firm in Melbourne. “It was rewarding working in family law, but it also clarified for me that I wanted to work in criminal law, focusing on the prosecution side,” says Anthony. “In my view, we all owe a duty to society and the work that we do in prosecutions often has flow-on benefits for the community – and that is important to me.” Anthony is about to complete his first rotation at the Specialist Sex Offences Unit and will soon transfer to another section of the OPP. “The senior solicitors in this unit have been incredibly helpful to me and very generous in sharing their extensive legal knowledge,” he says. “I am thoroughly enjoying working here – the OPP has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to build a career in an area of law that I am very interested in and committed to.” At 29, Kristie Churchill (top left) seems to have acquired a lifetime’s worth of work experience even before applying for articles at the OPP. She has managed a drug and alcohol facility for offenders in Frankston, worked for Adult Corrections doing prosecutions of community-based dispositions and supervised adult offenders on parole. She also worked in juvenile justice, advising the Children’s Court on sentencing options for young offenders. Along the way, she completed a Criminology degree and – earlier this year – her Law degree. “I do like continual challenges and learning new things,” says Kristie, ”and there are certainly many new things to learn doing articles with the OPP. Already, the diversity of work has exposed me to interesting and complex cases, such as the homicide advice file I am presently working on.” Susie, Anthony and Kristie also value the support the articled clerks provide to each other. “Everyone in this year’s group has been tremendously helpful to each other,” says Susie. “We all look out for each other and see each other socially on a regular basis.” Adds Anthony: “The program is as full-on as it is interesting, so it is a bonus to be doing it with such a great bunch of people.” For the moment, they are all focused on learning as much as they can and completing the program. Looking to the future, they all express a keen wish to stay at the OPP. “Coming to the OPP was a natural progression for me,” says Kristie. “I have been interested in prosecuting for a long time now and am committed to working in the area in the future.” Anthony agrees: “I am really interested in helping people and in issues of social and legal justice. So yes, I would be very interested in continuing to work at the OPP when I finish the course – it is a great place to work.”


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE The Office of Public Prosecutions continues to deliver a high quality prosecution service to the Victorian community, with the OPP securing a high rate of guilty pleas and trial convictions in 2007/08. The number of briefs prepared and hearings attended by OPP staff increased to more than 72,000 – reflecting the high volume of prosecutorial work conducted by the office and the vitally important part the OPP plays in Victoria’s criminal justice system. In 2007/08, the OPP prepared more

than 37,000 briefs and attended around 35,000 hearings. Matters in which the OPP was involved included organised crime and police corruption, high profile homicides, serious sex offences, drug trafficking and drug syndicates, commercial fraud, workplace deaths and injuries, serious driving offences, armed robbery and serious assaults. The OPP also maintained its groundbreaking work in confiscating assets obtained through crime. Findings of guilt (guilty pleas and convictions) were obtained in 86.3 per cent

BRIEFS PREPARED AND HEARINGS ATTENDED

of all cases completed in 2007/08 – a slight decrease from the eight-year high recorded last year, but remaining above the eightyear average. Guilty pleas were obtained in 69.8 per cent of cases completed in 2007/08, remaining above the OPP’s target of 68 per cent. These outcomes reflect the commitment of the OPP and Victoria Police to pursue the prosecution of serious crimes to successful conclusions, as well as the success of the OPP’s focus on resolving matters at an early stage.

GUILTY PLEAS AS A PERCENTAGE OF CASES COMPLETED 100

80,000

90

70,000

80 60,000

70

50,000

60

40,000

50 40 30

20,000

GUILTY PLEAS

BRIEFS PREPARED

30,000

10,000 0

20 10 0

1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002– 03 2003– 04 2004–05 2005–06 2006– 07 2007– 08

1999– 00 2000– 01 2001–02 2002– 03 2003– 04 2004– 05 2005 – 06 2006 – 07 2007–08

YEAR

YEAR

FINDINGS OF GUILT, ACQUITTALS AND OTHER OUTCOMES OF CASES COMPLETED

100.0

80.0

60.0

PERCENTAGE

40.0

20.0

0 1999–00

2000– 01

2001– 02

2002–03

2003– 04

2004– 05

2005–06

2006–07

2007– 08

YEAR

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 25


COMPLEX CRIME During 2007/08, the OPP conducted prosecutions involving complex crimes in the areas of organised crime, police corruption, drug trafficking and major commercial fraud. These cases involve extensive investigation and pre-trial preparation, often extend over many years and require considerable high-level resources to be allocated by the OPP. Many of these cases are conducted under intense media and public scrutiny. ORGANISED CRIME The OPP continued to prepare and prosecute matters arising from Victoria Police’s Purana Taskforce, which was

set up in 2003 to investigate organised crime networks. The office worked with the Commonwealth DPP to secure the extradition of Mr M from Greece and return him to Victoria to face serious charges. During the year, criminal proceedings involving underworld figures led to the DPP taking action to prevent the screening of the Underbelly television series to ensure that the accused persons involved in these cases received fair trials free of any adverse publicity. CORRUPTION Throughout the year, the OPP provided a prosecution service for Victoria Police’s

Ethical Standards Department (ESD) and the Office of Police Integrity (OPI) in matters involving police corruption. Matters received for prosecution from these agencies ranged from relatively minor offences through to serious instances of corrupt behaviour. The OPP also provided advice to the ESD and OPI about whether sufficient evidence existed for a prosecution to proceed in a number of matters. The DPP agreed to take over the prosecution of a number of summary offences involving police officers as defendants, with the DPP and Victoria police recognising the public interest in

EXTRADITION ON SERIOUS CHARGES In August 2001, Mr M was charged in Victoria with drug trafficking and released on bail. Four years later, in 2005, Mr M was committed for trial to the Supreme Court on these charges. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth DPP was also pursuing charges against Mr M relating to the importation of narcotics. The Commonwealth trial started in early 2006, with the trial for the Victorian offences scheduled to start directly after the completion of the Commonwealth trial. In March 2006, as the Commonwealth trial was proceeding, Mr M absconded. The trial continued in his absence and he was convicted and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, with a nonparole period of nine years. As a consequence of Mr M’s disappearance, the Victorian DPP sought a warrant from the Supreme Court for his arrest. In June 2007, following an investigation by Victoria Police into the murders of two underworld figures, Mr M was charged with two counts of murder, 14 counts of drug trafficking and two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

In June 2007, Mr M was arrested in Greece. Two weeks later, the Commonwealth and Victorian DPPs requested the Commonwealth Attorney-General to apply to the Greek Government for Mr M’s extradition. The extradition was conducted by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, with the Victorian DPP and Victoria Police providing background information and affidavits. On 24 July 2007, the Greek Court of Appeal ordered Mr M’s extradition to Australia. Mr M immediately appealed the decision to the Greek Supreme Court, which upheld the extradition order on 18 March 2008. Under Greek law, the extradition required the approval of the Minister of Justice, which was granted on 7 May 2008. Mr M finally arrived back in Australia on 17 May 2008. The OPP solicitor currently handling the case pointed out that extraditions can move slowly and are complicated processes. But he added: “It is important to have Mr M back to face the very serious charges outstanding against him in Victoria.”

GANGLAND KILLER FOUND GUILTY On 29 May 2008, a Supreme Court jury found Mr G, a 38-year-old career criminal, guilty of gunning down underworld figure Lewis Moran at the height of Melbourne’s so-called “gangland wars”. On 31 March 2004, Mr G and another man entered the Brunswick Club in Sydney Road, Brunswick, wearing balaclavas. Mr G then chased Moran around the club before shooting him twice in the head at close range with a handgun. Moran died instantly at the scene. After a lengthy investigation by Victoria Police’s Purana Taskforce, Mr G was charged with Moran’s murder and the attempted murder of Moran’s companion on the night. During the trial, which commenced in April 2008, the prosecution’s main witness (code-named JP) gave evidence that he was hired to murder Lewis Moran, had recruited Mr G to his “hit team” and had driven the getaway car on the night of the murder. The court also heard that convicted triple murderer Carl Williams and another accused had provided money to finance the murder.

26 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

The trial ran for eight weeks and was the basis for an earlier court order made by Justice Betty King prohibiting the broadcasting in Victoria of the Channel Nine television drama series Underbelly. At the time of his conviction for the murder of Lewis Moran, it was revealed that Mr G was already serving a jail term for the murder of Lewis Caine, whose body was found dumped in a Brunswick street in May 2004.


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

maintaining an independent approach to these prosecutions. The OPP concluded prosecutions arising from Operation Air, an investigation by the Office of Police Integrity into the suspected criminal activities of some former members of the now-disbanded Victoria Police Armed Offenders Squad. MAJOR DRUG CASES In 2007/08, the OPP continued to work through a number of major drug trafficking and drug syndicate cases. The growing use of modern surveillance techniques by police means that these cases increasingly involve multiple defendants and extensive

evidentiary material. Recognising that these matters often take several years to resolve, the OPP focused during the year on trying to obtain pleas of guilty in these cases, with the aim of completing them at as early a stage as possible in the prosecution process. The OPP worked closely with Victoria Police in the investigation and prosecution of syndicates involved in clandestine drug laboratories and large hydroponic marijuana crops, and in curbing the growing incidence of “party drugs” and ATS (amphetamine type substances).

“Major drug cases are very difficult to resolve quickly. Many defendants are well-resourced and they can afford to fight prosecutors every step of the way. Delay works in their favour and it takes a lot of hard work and effort to get these cases before the courts. So it’s very satisfying when we get a result.” Lucia Palgan Legal Prosecution Specialist – Drugs

OPERATION AIR Operation Air involved an investigation by the Office of Police Integrity (OPI) into the suspected criminal activities of some members of the now disbanded Victoria Police Armed Offenders Squad. In particular, the investigation focused on allegations of abuse of police powers when suspects were detained in police custody. During 2007/08, the OPP’s Corruption Section concluded the prosecutions arising from Operation Air, resulting in the conviction of three former Victoria Police detectives for assault. The three detectives were caught on video repeatedly assaulting a suspect, after bringing him back to the St Kilda Road police complex for questioning about the armed robbery of two jewellery stores. Unknown to the detectives, the OPI had placed cameras in the interview room. The video was first aired at an OPI hearing in November 2006, with the three detectives initially denying it was them on the tape. Following the OPI hearing, the men were suspended from the police force and resigned in 2007. After plea negotiations, the three each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful assault and one count of misleading the Director of the OPI. Magistrate Peter Lauritsen heard evidence that the men assaulted the suspect on five separate occasions over four hours, including

slapping him around the face, striking him on the side of the head with a tissue box and hitting him with a telephone when he asked to make a phone call. One of the detectives had told the suspect that his ear would be “coming off by the end of the day”. The Magistrate also heard evidence from the defence that the three detectives acted out of desperation because they were under pressure to locate a missing shotgun used in the armed robberies before it could be used on anyone else, and that they deeply regretted the impact of the incident on their families, friends and fellow police officers. Sentencing the three men, the Magistrate stated that the detectives had abused their position and would almost certainly not have been caught if not for the OPI surveillance. On the assault charges, he sentenced two of the men to 10 weeks’ imprisonment and one to five weeks’ imprisonment, to be served in the community on an Intensive Correction Order. On the charge of misleading the Director of the OPI, all three were sentenced to a further three months’ imprisonment, also to be served by way of an Intensive Correction Order.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 27


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

COMMERCIAL CRIME During the year, the OPP’s commercial crime section prepared and prosecuted complex “white collar crime” cases, working closely with the Victoria Police Major Fraud Squad. As in previous years, these cases involved multiple volumes of evidentiary material, numerous witnesses (some from interstate and overseas) and lengthy trials. Many also involved the added complexity of considering civil concepts, such as mortgages, bills of exchange and international transactions. In 2007/08, the section continued to prepare prosecutions arising from the

series of major frauds against Victoria University. The OPP also worked hard to incorporate the requirements of the Victims’ Charter into the prosecution of commercial crime, recognising that the victims of fraud often incur significant and irreplaceable financial losses.

“These are highly intensive investigations because there’s always a lot of material to sift through. But there’s great satisfaction in getting to the point in the process where we are satisfied with the case we can present and feel confident that we’ll get a conviction.” Shane Kenna Commercial Crime

Shane Kenna Solicitor Commercial Crime “Premeditated, calculated and sophisticated.” That’s how Shane Kenna describes matters he prosecutes as part of the OPP’s commercial crime section – and it’s the reason Shane continues to find working at the OPP an interesting and stimulating experience. “Commercial fraud is usually very well planned,” says Shane. “So our work is mostly document-driven inquiries. It’s all about ‘linkages’ – we have to carefully link together pieces of evidence along a document trail until we discover the particular document or series of documents that will lead to conviction.” While Shane’s cases range from relatively simple bankcard scams to complicated mortgage manipulations, most are highly complex due to the large volumes of documents involved. The biggest case Shane has prosecuted involved nearly 130 volumes of documents, and he is currently working on a multi-million dollar investment fraud with around 120 victims. “These are highly intensive investigations because there’s always a lot of material to sift through,” he says. “But there’s great satisfaction in getting to the point in the process where we are satisfied with the cases we can present and feel confident that we’ll get a conviction.” Shane joined the OPP in 1998 after many years in private practice as a solicitor and barrister. A longstanding interest in commercial law led to him joining the office’s commercial crime section in 2005. “I’m still amazed by the schemes that people come up with,” he says. “But I never forget that these schemes also involve victims – including people who have been cheated out of their life savings or defrauded of hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Shane enjoys working as part of the small, highly dedicated commercial crime team within the OPP. “We pretty much live in each other’s pockets,” he laughs. “But we’re very focused on taking our cases to a successful conclusion. We don’t let much distract us from that task.” The team also works closely with the police, especially the 28 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

Major Fraud Squad. “We complement the hard work of the police,” says Shane. “They gather the evidence, which is often a painstaking and thankless task. We put the finishing touches on their work, make sure we have all the evidence we need and then run the matter in court. “All of us – the OPP prosecutors and the police – work very hard to put the best case we can to the court. That’s what we’re here for and that’s what we aim to achieve.”


PRINCIPAL PROSECUTIONS Throughout 2007/08, the OPP conducted a high volume of general prosecutions, with major cases involving murder and attempted murder, manslaughter, serious assaults, armed robberies and culpable driving. HOMICIDES The OPP faced the challenge of prosecuting a number of major homicide cases that involved intensive media scrutiny and public interest. These cases involved the OPP working closely with the Victoria Police Homicide Squad. The OPP’s senior solicitors working

in the homicide area have developed considerable expertise in these prosecutions and are now also taking responsibility for matters referred by the Victoria Police Major Collision Investigation Unit. This will involve prosecuting driving offences that result in death or serious injury. A significant development during the year was the Victorian Government’s announcement of a new law, known as “Cody’s Law”, which introduced the charge of child homicide in response to the original sentence imposed by the Supreme Court in the case of McMaster in August 2007.

“In our homicide prosecutions, we work closely with the Homicide Squad and we greatly value their dedication and professionalism. Members of the squad are always very accessible and helpful to the OPP solicitors and Crown Prosecutors working on these difficult cases.” Richard Lewis Legal Prosecution Specialist – Homicide

ART FRAUD LEADS TO JAIL It has been hailed as a “breakthrough” and “the first serious conviction of art fraud in Australia”. In November 2007, in the first successful prosecution of its type in Victoria, a Melbourne couple received a prison term after being found guilty of forging works by a leading Aboriginal artist. Mr and Mrs L, aged 67 and 65, received more than $300,000 after forging and selling four paintings supposedly by renowned artist Rover Thomas, whose works are sought by collectors around the world and have fetched prices in excess of $700,000. The County Court heard that Mrs L created the paintings by copying from art catalogues and books. Mr and Mrs L then sold the works to collectors through leading auction houses and were working on a further two paintings when they were arrested by police in March 2006. The couple told the auction houses that Mrs L had inherited the paintings from her late father, who had known Rover Thomas when he worked in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Mr and Mrs L made no attempt to cover their tracks when they sold the paintings, attending the auction houses in person, never using a third party and always giving their own names. Very little effort was made by the auction houses to verify Mrs L’s story, something that Judge Williams called “absurd” during the hearing. Sentencing the couple, Judge Williams observed that “the fraud was deeply premeditated and highly planned ... and a matter of embarrassment for all of the auction houses”. He noted that Mr and Mrs L had attempted to enrich themselves dishonestly “at the cost of

innocent third parties and the integrity of the art industry, particularly the Aboriginal art industry, which must suffer when this sort of activity is brought to light”. Judge Williams sentenced Mr and Mrs L to three years, imprisonment each; however, due to their age and ill health, he directed that they serve nine months in jail and the remainder of their sentences be suspended. The judge stated that he may have imposed a wholly suspended sentence had the couple pleaded guilty. “I can’t help feeling the community would be somewhat alarmed with the system if people can commit very significant fraud, deny it, run the case in court, go down and then be allowed to walk,” he said. For many people in the art industry, the successful prosecution of Mr and Mrs L was seen as a significant step. Robyn Sloggett, Director of Melbourne University’s Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (who helped prove that the paintings were fraudulent) told the ABC’s Stateline program: “It’s fired a shot across the bows, really. It’s established that this is a serious crime and that it’s dealt with seriously.” In June 2008, the OPP participated in an art fraud forum at the University of Melbourne, along with representatives of Victoria Police, criminologists, commercial gallery owners, auction house experts, academics and artists. The forum heard that the art market boom has led to a significant increase in “problematic” works, with the Aboriginal art market being particularly vulnerable.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 29


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

The Attorney-General stated that the new offence was being introduced to better reflect the seriousness with which the community views the killing of a child. The DPP later appealed unsuccessfully against McMaster’s sentence (see Appeals against sentence in 2007/08 on page 10). WORKPLACE DEATHS AND INJURIES Occupational health and safety prosecutions are one of the fastest growing areas of the OPP’s legal practice. In 2007/08, the OPP prosecuted a range of matters for WorkSafe Victoria, successfully prosecuting serious breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 that

resulted in the death or serious injury of employees or other persons at a workplace. The OPP also reviewed matters referred to the DPP where WorkSafe Victoria decided not to bring a prosecution. Other than WorkSafe, the OPP also manages cases referred by external agencies for prosecution by the DPP in the higher courts. These agencies include the Environment Protection Authority, the Transport Accident Commission and various government departments. CORONIAL INQUIRIES The OPP’s prosecutors assisted the State Coroner of Victoria in a number of inquests

and assessed findings forwarded from the Coroner to the DPP in matters where the Coroner believed that an indictable offence may have been committed in connection with a death. OPP solicitors working on these matters also provided input into the current review of the Coroners Act 1985, which will reform coronial practices and procedures. The Solicitor for Public Prosecutions also met with the newly appointed State Coroner, Judge Jennifer Coate, to discuss ways in which the OPP could improve its assistance to the Coroner.

TWO TRIALS NEEDED FOR MURDER CONVICTION In February 2008, the Supreme Court sentenced Mr W to 26 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 20 years, for the murder of a security guard during an armed robbery. Mr W shot the security guard in the head with a high-powered rifle after he tried to stop an armed robbery at a suburban club in Melbourne. The guard had attempted to defuse the situation after Mr W and two other men had bailed him up outside the club and walked him inside. But the confrontation escalated and one of the men moved quickly towards the security guard who drew his revolver and shot the man in the buttocks. Mr W then fired a number of shots at the security guard’s head and chest, fatally wounding him. Mr W and the two men fled the scene with $10,000 in stolen cash. Two months after the robbery, all three men were arrested. Mr W’s accomplices pleaded guilty to armed robbery and manslaughter, receiving reduced sentences because they agreed to give evidence against Mr W. Mr W pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and one count of armed robbery. In June 2007, the jury hearing the

charges was discharged after being unable to reach a verdict. Mr W was re-arraigned on the same charges and again pleaded not guilty. In November 2007 the jury in the second trial found Mr W guilty of armed robbery and murder. At the sentencing hearing, Justice Whelan noted that Mr W had prior convictions for armed robbery, drug trafficking, driving offences and affray. At the time of the armed robbery, he was trafficking in heroin. The prosecution submitted victim impact statements from the security guard’s wife and parents, and from two of the club’s staff members who were present when he was killed. Justice Whelan noted that the statements “speak graphically of the terrible consequences of [Mr W’s] actions that night”. Justice Whelan also observed: “Violent crimes of this nature, where the perpetrators are motivated by nothing more than the desire to obtain money, are the most serious kind which come before the courts.”

COMPANY FINED AFTER WORKER SERIOUSLY INJURED In 2004, a 33-year-old worker on an Offshore Drilling Unit operated by a petroleum exploration company suffered serious and debilitating injuries when a 2.7 tonne steel diverter running tool was hit by a moving gantry crane, swinging around off its saddle and rolling over his legs. The worker’s injuries included head and leg fractures, heavy blood loss and the amputation of one leg. A second worker sustained minor injuries after jumping clear of the diverter running tool. Both men had been working without direct supervision, despite being reasonably novice employees. The OPP prosecuted the company on behalf of WorkSafe Victoria. In the Magistrates’ Court in Melbourne in April 2008, the company was convicted and fined a total of $150,000 for failing to

30 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

provide plant and systems of work that were safe, and for failing to provide necessary training and supervision for workers. The company pleaded guilty to these charges and was also ordered to pay $25,000 costs. The culpability of the company was aggravated by the fact that a similar incident occurred in 2001, which resulted in a worker being killed. After that accident, the company put some safety measures in place, but these steps proved to be inadequate. Since the 2004 accident, further safety measures have been put in place, including the supervision of novice employees working in such areas.


MENTAL IMPAIRMENT AND UNFITNESS TO BE TRIED The OPP continues to develop its expertise in matters involving offenders with a mental impairment. During the year, OPP solicitors: • prosecuted a range of cases involving mentally impaired persons • represented the DPP in proceedings involving a variation in supervision orders relating to mentally impaired persons who had been found unfit to be tried or not guilty because of mental impairment • monitored reviews in the Supreme Court and County Court regarding the status of mentally impaired offenders and

made sure that victims of these offences were given the opportunity to make a submission to the court • contributed to the development of the Department of Justice’s new Justice Mental Health Strategy, which is considering a range of interventions to better meet the needs of offenders, victims and witnesses with cognitive impairment • contributed to the draft Director’s Policy on Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried, which will provide guidelines for decisions made by the DPP in these matters • worked closely with Forensicare, Victoria Police, the Department of

Justice and the Department of Human Services to ensure that these matters are handled fairly, sensitively and as expeditiously as possible. Recognising the importance of this expanding area of prosecution practice, the OPP created the position of Legal Prosecution Specialist – Mental Impairment to lead the development of expertise in these cases.

MENTAL IMPAIRMENT PROSECUTIONS Cases involving issues of mental impairment are among the most difficult and distressing matters handled by the OPP. In 2007/08, the office prosecuted a number of significant cases where mental impairment was raised as a defence, including the two contrasting cases summarised below.

‘TRAGIC FOR ALL INVOLVED’

MENTAL IMPAIRMENT DEFENCE REJECTED

On an evening in June 2006, Mr B (a 26-year-old Sudanese refugee) walked into a medical clinic in a Melbourne suburb, sat in the waiting room for a few minutes and then went into Dr M’s consulting rooms where he stabbed the GP 26 times with two knives. Dr M died almost immediately from blood loss caused by the stab wounds. Forty-five minutes later, Mr B entered the local police station, presented a knife and informed a senior constable that “he had done something bad”. Mr B was arrested and subsequently charged with Dr M’s murder. Evidence was given at Mr B’s trial in March 2008 that he suffered from Hepatitis C and had attended the medical centre on five previous occasions for treatment when he had shown no signs of animosity towards Dr M or her colleagues. The Supreme Court jury heard that Mr B was delusional, that he believed doctors had infected him with Hepatitis C and that Dr M and others had conspired to deprive him of treatment. The jury also heard that Dr M had been a compassionate physician with a particular interest in helping refugees. The DPP and the defence agreed that Mr B should be found not guilty due to mental impairment. The jury found Mr B not guilty of the murder of Dr M for reasons of mental impairment. Ordering Mr B to be detained in a psychiatric institution for 25 years, Justice Curtain observed that “the case was tragic for all involved”.

Mr F returned home from work one evening in September 2005 to find his wife in an incoherent state. He asked about the whereabouts of the couple’s two young sons, aged 11 and 9, and was told by his wife that they were staying at a friend’s house for tea. Shortly afterward, Mr F discovered his older son lying unconscious on the floor in the main bedroom and his younger son unconscious on his bed. The children were not breathing and had no pulse. Mr F called an ambulance while performing CPR on his sons. When ambulance and fire brigade officers arrived at the house, they confirmed that the children were deceased. Mrs F was transported to hospital where she was treated for injuries to her neck, arms and legs. She was then taken to the Homicide Squad offices and later admitted as an involuntary patient under the Mental Health Act 1986. In September 2005, Mrs F was charged with the murders of her sons and remanded in custody. During her trial, the Supreme Court heard evidence that Mrs F had admitted on a number of occasions that she had killed her sons. Her defence was that she was mentally impaired at the time of the murders. The DPP did not agree that Mrs F was mentally impaired and argued that she had planned the killings and that her actions were pre-meditated and cold blooded, and carried out “consciously, voluntarily and deliberately”. In May 2008, the Supreme Court jury found Mrs F guilty of the murder of her two sons. In July 2008, Justice Nettle sentenced Mrs F to 24 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18 years. On 30 July 2008, the DPP announced his decision to appeal the sentence on the basis that it did not sufficiently reflect the seriousness of the offences. Mrs F is appealing her conviction.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 31


Louise Wilkinson and Julie Carpenter Legal Prosecution Specialists Mental Impairment After many years working full time, Louise Wilkinson and Julie Carpenter are enjoying the benefits of job-sharing as they settle into their new roles of Legal Prosecution Specialists – the first time that such a position within the OPP has been shared. Louise and Julie are senior solicitors with extensive experience in prosecuting – and both have young families. In February 2008, having job-shared a position of Program Manager since December 2007, they approached the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions to see if they could apply jointly for one of the new Legal Prosecution Specialist positions being created within the office. “With preschool children at home, we saw job-sharing as a way to spend more time with our families and still keep our careers on track,” says Louise. They were pleased with the positive response to their approach. “We were aware that this hadn’t been done before in the OPP and we were also aware that you can get stuck in a backwater in some organisations if you job-share – but that wasn’t the case here,” says Louise. Adds Julie: “We were encouraged to apply, made a joint application for one of the LPS positions and presented jointly to the interviewing panel. People were supportive throughout the process and continue to be supportive.” Louise and Julie each work three days a week, overlapping on Mondays. Julie says it is working “fantastically well”, thanks to a carefully structured process of exchanging communication about cases and issues. “We’re very conscious of not wasting the time of other people in the office by making them explain things twice,” she says. “Our system means that people can talk to either of us and be confident that we are up-to-date with a particular matter.” The complexity of mental impairment prosecutions raises particular challenges in job sharing. “These cases are complicated and can involve a lot of difficult issues,” says Louise. “It’s an area where you need to talk things through and Julie and I can do that.” Julie agrees that communication is the key to success. “It helps that, while we’ve taken different paths to get here, Louise and I see things in the 32 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

same way,” she says. “So far, we haven’t disagreed on how to handle a matter.” Both Louise and Julie are pleased with the flexibility jobsharing provides. “It gives me the opportunity to work part time, spend time with my family and still get my teeth into a challenging area of the law,” notes Louise. For Julie, working part time has given her new energy and enthusiasm. “I come in after two days at home and I’m full of energy. I bounce into the office and can’t wait to get started. Of course, it helps that I’ve just spent two days hanging out with preschoolers,” she laughs. “That’s incentive enough to get back to the office.”


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

PROCEEDS OF CRIME In 2007/08, the OPP again recorded significant successes in confiscating assets that have been used in the commission of a crime or purchased with the proceeds of crime. During the year, the OPP’s Confiscations Team conducted litigation on behalf of the DPP under the Confiscation Act 1997, confiscating more than $10 million in assets from criminals. The team also: • continued to pursue the confiscation of tainted assets relating to Mr M and his family and associates • obtained several large Pecuniary Penalty Orders (where an offender pays back to the state the dollar value of a benefit

received as the result of a crime), some in excess of $1 million • contributed to the Victorian Government’s review of the Confiscation Act 1997 and the operation of the asset confiscation scheme • successfully appealed a decision of the Court of Appeal to the High Court in relation to the exclusion of property from confiscation • continued to work with the Department of Justice and Victoria Police to improve the practical operation of the Act and the asset confiscation scheme.

“… a ‘big leap forward’ came in 2004, when the OPP received substantial additional funding from the Victorian Government to expand its work in the confiscations area.“ David Gray Manager of the OPP’s Proceeds of Crime Directorate

BUILDING A NATIONAL REPUTATION The philosophy underpinning Victoria’s Confiscation Act 1997 is that criminals should not benefit and prosper from their crimes. The Act provides a mechanism for the State of Victoria to seize “tainted” assets that have been used in the commission of a crime or purchased with the proceeds of crime. Confiscation usually involves an offender surrendering to the state the tainted assets or paying back to the state the dollar value of the benefit received as the result of a crime. David Gray, Manager of the OPP’s Proceeds of Crime Directorate, has overseen the expansion of the office’s confiscations section from one to 10 solicitors since 2002. “The area of confiscations has undergone a substantial transformation and escalation over the last four to five years,” he says. “Essentially, we have had to build our practice in this area from the ground up, developing knowledge and expertise along the way.” David says that a “big leap forward” came in 2004, when the OPP received substantial additional funding from the Victorian Government to expand its work in the confiscations area. “Those new resources meant that we could recruit from the private sector some highly experienced and talented commercial litigators. Since then, the number of confiscation orders we have obtained and the value of the assets forfeited has increased dramatically.” The OPP’s confiscations team is widely acknowledged as playing a leading role in the success of Victoria’s asset confiscation scheme. David Gray says that it’s because the expertise developed by the team puts it in a strong position to “fight toe-to-toe with the highpriced lawyers and accountants that many of these criminals employ to protect their assets”. He points out that his team has a skills set that was not previously available to the OPP, including solicitors with

diverse civil litigation experience and a forensic accountant. “When you’re talking about organised crime groups or large-scale drug traffickers, you’re talking about sophisticated operations with a lot of resources,” says David. “We now have the skills and the experience to take them on in a much more robust manner.” The impact of confiscations on the OPP’s prosecution practice is also reflected in the recruitment of leading commercial barrister Peter Rose SC to join Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers. Peter brings extensive experience in commercial litigation to his role as Senior Crown Prosecutor and acts as in-house counsel in confiscation litigation. He notes that “confiscation is an effective deterrent and one that will be used more and more in the fight against major crime”. As well as using asset confiscation as part of its general prosecution practice, the OPP has also tested the courts’ interpretation of the law surrounding Victoria’s scheme. Over the past two or three years, several decisions of the Victorian Court of Appeal have had an impact on the operation of the Confiscation Act 1997 – decisions that have led to the Victorian Parliament passing amending legislation to overturn the judgments. David Gray observed: “This is a relatively new jurisdiction, so differences in interpretation are bound to arise. Where the DPP has been dissatisfied with the approach taken by the courts, we have challenged those decisions – taking them to the High Court in some instances.”

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 33


APPEALS, BAILS AND BREACHES During the year, the OPP continued to undertake a high volume of County Court appeals, conducted a number of appeals in higher courts and represented the DPP in bail applications and breaches of noncustodial orders in the Supreme Court. COUNTY COURT APPEALS In 2007/08, the OPP completed over 1,900 County Court appeals. The vast majority of cases involved the OPP representing the DPP as respondent to appeals instituted by defendants. The OPP continues to face challenges in managing the high volume and increasing complexity of appeals within the Magistrates’

Court jurisdiction (more serious crimes are being dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court as the criminal jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court has increased). Appeals conducted by the office during the year covered a wide range of matters, including offences such as assault and burglary, appeals from the Children’s Court, a small number of Commonwealth cases (such as counterfeiting) and offences prosecuted by external agencies such as WorkSafe, Corrections Victoria and VicRoads. During the year, the OPP also conducted a number of appeals to the County Court against sentences imposed in the Magistrates’ Court.

BAILS AND BREACHES Solicitors working in the OPP’s Bails and Breaches section respond on behalf of the DPP where applications for bail are made in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal. They also bring breaches of non-custodial orders (such as suspended sentences, community-based orders and home detention back before the Supreme and County Courts. In 2007/08, the section handled 125 bail applications and 468 breaches of non-custodial orders. HIGHER COURT APPEALS The Director of Public Prosecutions has the power to appeal to the Supreme

PROTECTING VICTORIA’S CONFISCATIONS SCHEME In 2003, Mr L was charged with trafficking in a commercial quantity of heroin. After Mr L was charged with this and a number of other offences, the DPP applied to the County Court for a restraining order over his apartment. In 2005, Mr L pleaded guilty to the trafficking charge and was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Under the Confiscation Act 1997, Mr L’s restrained apartment would be forfeited to the State of Victoria 60 days after his conviction, unless an application was made to exclude all or part of the property from the restraining order by a person claiming an interest in the property. Within the time period, Mr L’s wife applied to the court for an exclusion order. Mr L had transferred the apartment to Mrs L (and himself) as joint tenants two months after the trafficking charges were filed, but before the restraining order was made. Mrs L had not paid any money to acquire her share in the apartment (as Mr L had transferred it to her for “natural love and affection”). The DPP opposed Mrs L’s application on the grounds that her interest was acquired by way of a gift in circumstances where she must have known about Mr L’s illegal activity. The DPP also argued that even if the court found that Mrs L had a lawful interest in the property, only her share could be excluded from confiscation. In March 2006, the County Court ordered that the whole of the property be excluded from forfeiture, effectively ensuring that the apartment remained the legal property of Mrs L. The DPP appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeal. The DPP then obtained special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia. The DPP was concerned that if the Court of Appeal decision was allowed to stand, Victoria’s asset confiscation regime

34 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

would be seriously undermined. In effect, the decision would allow people to use their spouses, partners and family members to avoid having their assets confiscated. On 14 November 2007, the High Court handed down its decision, which was that an applicant for exclusion of property could only have their interest, and not the whole property, excluded. This meant that Mrs L would only be permitted to keep her half-share of the apartment. Prior to the High Court decision being handed down, the Victorian Government had already moved to amend the Confiscation Act 1997 to protect the integrity of the confiscations regime. These amendments, which came into operation in September 2007, make it clear that successful applicants for exclusion of property can only have their interest in the property excluded (not the whole property) and that an applicant cannot claim to have acquired the property for “sufficient consideration” when it has been transferred as a gift or for natural love and affection. The amendments also introduce a new category of “derived property”, which includes property that is “derived or realised, or substantially derived or realised, directly or indirectly, from an unlawful activity”. These amendments strengthen Victoria’s asset confiscation regime and will make it even more difficult for criminals to avoid forfeiting the proceeds of their illegal activities to the state.


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia in a number of specific circumstances. The OPP’s Higher Court Appeals Unit conducts these matters on behalf of the DPP. Appeals to the High Court of Australia Section 35 of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Commonwealth) gives jurisdiction to the High Court to hear and determine appeals by the DPP. Appeals can only be brought by special leave of the Court itself. During 2007/08, no applications were filed by the DPP for special leave to appeal to the High Court. The Director was respondent in seven applications for special leave heard during

2007/08, all of which were refused. Appeals under the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989 section 92 of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989 allows a party to criminal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court to appeal to the Supreme Court on a question of law. The DPP conducts these appeals on behalf of police informants. In 2007/08, the DPP was formally requested in 14 cases to institute s.92 appeals on behalf of police informants. Seven of these appeals commenced during the year. Seven appeals were heard and completed in the Supreme Court and one appeal was abandoned. At 30 June 2008, three s.92 appeals were still pending.

The DPP also acted for respondent police informants in 18 appeals brought by defendants. One s.92-related application by a defendant to the Court of Appeal was completed. No High Court applications or appeals relating to s.2 matters were commenced or determined. APPEALS UNDER S567A OF THE CRIMES ACT 1958 Section 567A of the Crimes Act 1958 gives the DPP the power to appeal to the Court of Appeal against sentences imposed by trial judges. Details of these appeals are set out in the Annual Report of the DPP and in Appendix 3.

Matthew Andison Solicitor Higher Court Appeals Matthew Andison completed his Law degree in 2006 while working full time in a para-legal position within the OPP. Having been accepted into the OPP’s Articled Clerkship Program in March 2007, Matthew was rotated through seven sections within the office, including the Confiscations section and the Committals Advocacy Unit, as well as a secondment in the Administrative Law Branch of the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. “I had a fantastic articles year,” says Matthew, “and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the valuable experience that I’ve had at the OPP.” In April 2008, Matthew applied successfully for a position within the OPP’s Higher Court Appeals section where he works primarily on preparing summaries of evidence and summaries of proceedings in cases before the Court of Appeal. In these cases, the OPP represents the Crown as the respondent (where a convicted person is appealing against conviction or sentence) but Matthew also prepares Crown appeals to the Court of Appeal against sentences. Matthew says that he is “very happy here at the moment, trying to learn as much as I can and working towards being a more senior solicitor, perhaps with more advocacy and more complex work”. “I have always felt strongly about social justice and criminal justice issues,” says Matthew. “I like that our work is informed fundamentally by considerations of justice and fairness, and that we go about our work having regard to the interests of all those affected by it.” As he gains more experience, Matthew is looking towards working on judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court and appeals to the High Court. But he says, “For the moment, I am very pleased with the opportunities I’ve been given at the OPP since I started here in 2002 and I’m happy working hard to contribute to the important work that the Higher Court Appeals Unit does on a day-to-day basis.”

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 35


SERVING REGIONAL VICTORIA The OPP continues to invest resources and effort to deliver a high quality, high performing prosecution service in rural and regional Victoria. The OPP’s Circuit Section employs 20 solicitors, who prepare and prosecute criminal matters across three regional areas: Northern, Eastern and Western Victoria. During the year, the Supreme and County Courts travelled on circuit to hear matters in Wodonga, Wangaratta, Shepparton, Morwell, Bairnsdale, Sale, Horsham, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Mildura, Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong. In addition, for the first time, the Court of Appeal sat in the Latrobe Valley Justice

Precinct. Whenever the courts sit in these regional centres, the OPP sends a team to prosecute the criminal matters listed for hearing. These teams usually comprise a solicitor attached to the OPP’s Circuit Section and either a Crown Prosecutor or a private barrister briefed by the OPP. In 2007/08, the Circuit Section completed 155 matters in the northern part of the state, 101 matters in eastern area and 123 matters in western Victoria. EASTERN CIRCUIT Suzette Dootjes, Manager of the Eastern Circuit section in 2007/08, says that “while it has been ‘business as usual’ in the

eastern region, our solicitors have faced added pressure because court hearings have, at times, been scheduled at very short notice”. This reduces the time that OPP solicitors have to prepare prosecutions. Matters prosecuted by the Eastern section during the year included family violence, aggravated burglaries, theft, culpable driving and serious sex crimes. The Eastern section also welcomed the opening of the Latrobe Valley Justice Precinct. “It is a big improvement in resources for us,” says Suzette, “and it means that we will be able to provide a better prosecution service to Gippsland.” The section has also been involved in the establishment of the pilot

MURDER – NOT SUICIDE In February 2000, 42 year old Mr J of Tarrington in the western district of Victoria shot his 75-year-old father in the kitchen of the residence they both shared. Later in the day, Mr J entered the Hamilton police station, apparently very distressed, and informed the police that his father had been shot with a heavily modified shotgun. He implied that his father must have committed suicide. Four years after his father’s death, Mr J was arrested and charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty. Mr J’s Supreme Court trial initially opened in Warrnambool, but was later aborted and moved to Geelong after stickers asserting his innocence were posted around the town. During his trial, the Crown presented evidence to the jury to refute the notion that Mr J’s father had committed suicide, including evidence about Mr J’s whereabouts at the time of the shooting, forensic evidence about blood splatter patterns and blood stain markings, and evidence about the relationship between Mr J and his father. Mr J had lived at the property outside Hamilton for a number of years and, at times, had a difficult relationship with his father. In his twenties, Mr J enrolled in the Army Reserve and had developed a deep and long-standing interest in firearms and weaponry. In 1988,

36 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

Mr J resigned from the Army Reserve after receiving an injury to his right ear from an accident involving an anti-tank weapon. Evidence was presented to the jury that Mr J suffered increasingly from tinnitus and vertigo as a consequence of his injury. Psychiatric reports presented to the court outlined that, at the time of the shooting, Mr J was suffering from ongoing depression and that he was an “obsessional and isolative man with some paranoid tendencies”. Mr J was convicted of the murder of his father in 2007, seven years after the crime was committed. In sentencing Mr J, Justice Osborn accepted that Mr J’s relationship with his father had become more difficult after the death of Mr J’s mother in 1994. He noted that Mr J had “shot an unarmed and defenceless 75-year-old”, an act that he called “cold-blooded and pre-meditated”. Justice Osborn moderated Mr J’s sentence due to his depression and personality characteristics which “mitigated his moral culpability”. Justice Osborn also took note of the additional stress these factors would cause Mr J as a consequence of a longer term of imprisonment. Mr J was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for the murder of his father, with a non-parole period of 16 years.


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

County Koori Court, which will open in Morwell later in 2008. NORTHERN CIRCUIT Marwan El-Asmar, Acting Manager of the Northern Circuit Section, reports that “like the other Circuit Sections, the Northern section has had a heavy work load in 2007/08 with a variety of matters to prosecute”. Marwan notes that the section has also been involved in some high profile and difficult cases during the year. “All of our staff are committed to delivering the very best service possible,” he says. “But there are ongoing challenges – the sex offences

workload is particularly demanding and recent legislative changes, as well as listing requirements, have shortened our timelines for preparing cases.” WESTERN CIRCUITS “We have had a number of really good successes in some difficult cases,” says John Weigl, Manager of the Western Circuit Section, of the section’s work in 2007/08. He notes: “We secured a guilty plea in a serious rape where the doctor stated that the injuries sustained by the victim were the worst he had ever seen on a living person. We also obtained a murder conviction where the offender

During the year, all three Circuit Sections dealt with a high volume of serious sex offences. This is a significant challenge for his section. “But we work very closely and productively with the OPP’s Specialist Sex Offences Unit in prosecuting these matters.” John Weigl Western Circuit Manager

THE KOORI COURT In 2002, the Victorian parliament passed the Magistrates’ Court (Koori Court) Act 2002, creating a special division of the Magistrates’ Court to sentence Koori offenders who have pleaded guilty. The Koori Court provides a more informal hearing that allows greater involvement by the Aboriginal community in the court process, with the overall aim of reducing the over-representation of Koori people within the criminal justice system. Nine Magistrates’ Koori Courts now operate across Victoria, including children’s and adult courts. These courts examine and determine sentencing options for Koori offenders who plead guilty to all offences other than serious sex offences and family violence matters. The Koori Court model has proved to be effective in reducing recidivism among Koori offenders, with recidivism rates reducing to nearly half the rate across the general population since 2002. The Court has also helped to increase the confidence of the Aboriginal community in the administration of criminal law in Victoria. Following discussions between the OPP, the Department of Justice, the Chief Judge of the County Court, the Victorian Koori community and Koori Court Elders, the Victorian Government decided in 2008 to expand the model to the County Court. Responsibility for developing an operational model for the County Koori Court was given to a County Koori Court Reference Group, which included representatives from the County Court, the OPP, the Department of Justice, Victoria Legal Aid, Koori Court Elders, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Koori community. The Reference Group’s model was endorsed by the Council of Judges in late 2007 and the Aboriginal Justice Forum in early 2008. When fully operational, the County Koori Court will follow the same principles as the Magistrates’ Koori Court. It will be available only to defendants of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent; the defendant must consent to the Koori Court hearing the matter; and the defendant must have pleaded guilty. The Court will operate in a relatively informal manner and proceedings will take place at an oval table, involving the judge, Koori Elders and Respected Persons, the

Koori Court Officer, the defendant’s solicitor, the prosecutor, a representative from Community Correctional Services and the defendant in a “sentencing conversation”. Central to the successful operation of the County Koori Court is that “due recognition and respect to cultural considerations [is given] ... and can be seen as a positive step towards achieving a fair justice system for Kooris in Victoria”. (A Sentencing Conversation: Evaluation of the Koori Courts Pilot Program, October 2002 – October 2004). Crown Prosecutors and solicitors from the OPP’s Circuit Branch have volunteered to undertake training. The pilot County Koori Court will be established at the Latrobe Valley Justice Precinct in Morwell in late 2008, with the first sitting of the Court expected to take place in December 2008. OPP Annual Report 2007/08 37


DELIVERING A HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION SERVICE

had made it look like a suicide. These are important achievements in difficult cases where a just and fair outcome resulted from our prosecution.” During the year, all three Circuit Sections dealt with a high volume of serious sex offences. Western Circuit Manager John Weigl notes that this is “a significant challenge” for his section. “But we work very closely and productively with the OPP’s Specialist Sex Offences Unit in prosecuting these matters,” he says. “The opening of the OPP’s new Geelong office in 2009 will also help to relieve some of these pressures.”

The Section also plays its part in meeting the OPP’s commitment to the early resolution of cases. “Across all Circuit Sections, we try to achieve early resolutions in matters,” says Marwan El-Asmar. ”This has the advantage of not putting victims through what are traumatic and sometimes lengthy trials – something that victims are often very relieved about – and it also assists in reducing the backlog of cases in the courts.” In addition to meeting the heavy demands of providing a prosecution service to regional communities, the Circuit Section contributes to a greater awareness

and understanding of the criminal justice system by undertaking community legal education activities, providing advice and assistance to other agencies and promoting the services provided by the OPP to victims and witnesses.

Jenny Tregent Magistrate Magistrates’ Court OPP Circuit solicitor appointed to the Magistrates’ Court In June 2008, Jenny Tregent was appointed as a magistrate after working as a solicitor in the Office for Public Prosecutions for more than 15 years. Jenny says that she will miss her work as a prosecutor with the OPP, where most of her time was spent in the Circuit section. “I will certainly miss aspects of going on circuit and I will miss a number of people with whom I have built up close and very productive professional relationships with over my time with the office,” she says. “There are many great people who do fantastic work in the OPP and who are very committed to achieving just and fair outcomes in our court system.” Following her appointment, Jenny undertook training in order to carry out her new responsibilities. “This appointment throws up some new challenges for me – not least of which is that I will soon be hearing civil and family violence matters, as well as the criminal matters with which I am much more familiar,” she notes. “My training has included sitting with a number of magistrates, but I will begin sitting on my own – hearing relatively simple matters initially and more complex matters at a later time.” Jenny is immensely proud of her appointment because it recognises the commitment and hard work of the OPP’s solicitors. “It is not unusual for solicitors to be appointed to the bench, but it is rare for solicitors who work at the ‘rank and file’ level of things to be appointed,” she says. “I feel that my appointment gives some recognition to the important work that OPP solicitors carry out within the Victorian criminal justice system.” The Acting Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, Stuart Ward, describes Jenny’s appointment to the Magistrates’ Court as “great for the OPP and for those solicitors who work day in and day out at the coalface of prosecutions”. Like Jenny, Stuart sees the appointment not only as a reflection of Jenny’s skill and experience, but as a recognition of the expertise and knowledge that resides in this office. “Jenny’s success is a wonderful example to our younger solicitors,” he 38 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

says. “It shows them that working in prosecutions can open new doors and career paths that they may not previously have considered. “We are very proud of Jenny’s appointment, we thank her for many years of service on circuit and wish her every success in her new position.”


PIONEERING A NEW APPROACH TO PROSECUTING SEX OFFENCES In its first year of operation, the OPP’s Specialist Sex Offences Unit laid down a strong foundation for the development of a new, specialised approach to prosecuting serious sex offences. This approach aims to achieve a high success rate in prosecuting these offences, while improving support to victims, developing expertise in prosecuting sex crimes and delivering greater consistency in the conduct of prosecutions. In April 2008, the Specialist Sex Offences Unit (SSOU) completed its first year of operation. The unit has achieved positive results over the past year, meeting its targets and providing a best-practice model for the prosecution of serious sex offences. THE OPP’S PIONEERING APPROACH The OPP’s specialised approach to prosecuting serious sex offences has a number of significant features, including: • a team approach, with Crown Prosecutors, solicitors and advocates colocated in the same unit • leadership from specialist in-house Crown Prosecutors with expertise in prosecuting sex crimes • guidance, supervision and mentoring from a Legal Prosecution Specialist with experience in sex offences • handling of a case by the same solicitor from the initial stages through to the eventual trial • emphasis on the early resolution of cases • a more informative and respectful process for victims • improved support for witnesses • specialised training and guidelines for prosecutors and private barristers • greater consistency in the conduct of prosecutions, court processes and outcomes • improved identification, collection and analysis of statistics about serious sex crimes • proactive engagement in legal policy, court processes and legislation covering serious sex offences. THE SPECIALIST SEX OFFENCES UNIT The Specialist Sex Offences Unit comprises four Crown Prosecutors and 19 full time solicitor positions, as well as administrative and legal support staff. The Unit prosecutes all serious sex offences heard in the Melbourne County Court or Supreme Court, whether the victim is an adult or child. Unless there are

exceptional circumstances, the Unit does not prosecute less serious sex offences (which are heard in the Magistrates’ Court and prosecuted by police) or matters where the offender is a child (which are heard in the Children’s Court). Sex offence cases heard in the County Court in regional Victoria are prosecuted by the OPP’s Circuit Section. The SSOU conducts an initial assessment of these matters and provides advice to the Circuit prosecuting team as required. In its first year of operation, the Unit has aimed to ensure that: • prosecution cases are well-prepared and timely • cases are settled earlier, where possible • there are fewer appeals caused by error that results in retrial • victims are treated with respect and kept informed throughout the criminal justice process supported by specialist solicitors and social workers. SUCCESS IN PROSECUTIONS While further development of the SSOU is ongoing, the Unit recorded significant achievements in prosecutions in 2007/08, including: • prosecuting an increasing workload, with the total number of sex offences cases completed increasing by 40 per cent from 2006/07 • achieving a guilty plea or a conviction at trial in around 75 per cent of cases • adopting a strong focus on resolving matters at an early stage, reflecting the unit’s commitment to minimising the trauma for victims, while still securing an appropriate sentence. The Unit has developed a methodology to collect data on the cases it prosecutes. Commencing in July 2007, solicitors complete a detailed statistics sheet at the conclusion of each matter. This information will be used by the Unit and the OPP to analyse patterns and trends in sex offences being prosecuted in Victoria. REDUCING THE TRAUMA FOR VICTIMS A key aim of the SSOU and the OPP is to prosecute sex offence cases in a way that minimises the stress for victims and gives them a greater confidence in the criminal justice system. During 2007/08, the Unit worked closely with the OPP’s Witness Assistance Service, the new Child Witness Service and Victoria Police to ensure that

appropriate support and information was provided to victims. The Unit’s policy is that all complainants are offered support from the Witness Assistance Service or the Child Witness Service, and conferences with the prosecuting team are always offered at appropriate points during the court proceedings. POLICY AND PRACTICE ISSUES The OPP’s specialised approach to prosecuting sex offences means that the office is well-placed to participate in the implementation of policies and practices relating to these offences. Key issues that emerged during 2007/08 include: • Implemention and monitoring of the Sexual Assault Reform Package. The SSOU is one of several major reforms introduced by the Victorian Government as part of the Sexual Assault Reform Package announced in 2007. These reforms include the new Child Witness Service, specialist sex offences lists in the Magistrates’ and County Courts, procedures that allow children and vulnerable witnesses to give evidence via video link, and training for judges and lawyers in sexual assault issues. During 2007/08, the SSOU worked closely with external agencies to ensure the success of these reforms and to contribute to a more integrated and seamless approach to supporting the victims of serious sex crimes. • Transfer of serious sex offences to the Supreme Court. In early 2008, the DPP met with senior Supreme Court judges to discuss the transfer of these offences to the Supreme Court. The Court agreed to exercise its jurisdiction to hear these cases. To ensure that the most serious offences are heard by the most senior court in Victoria, the DPP has directed that sex offence cases that fit within prescribed guidelines should be heard in the Supreme Court. The SSOU’s prosecutors play a central role in identifying these cases and seeking their transfer to the Supreme Court. The OPP welcomes this move by the Court as one that will greatly reassure victims and establish precedents for prosecuting and sentencing in serious sex crimes. • Changes to special hearings. Special hearings allow children and cognitively impaired witnesses in sex offence cases to attend court just once to have their evidence pre-recorded. In March 2008, the Victorian Government introduced legislation to enable special hearings OPP Annual Report 2007/08 39


to be held closer to the trial date. This will assist the courts to list the same judge for both the special hearing and the trial, giving consistency in relation to sex offence cases. The OPP welcomes this change. TRAINING ACTIVITIES The OPP continued to provide training and information about the SSOU, sex offence prosecutions and the Sexual Assault Reform Package to a number of groups in 2007/08, including Victoria Police, Victoria Legal Aid, the Leo Cussen Institute, magistrates, barristers and sexual assault counsellors.

NEW SEX OFFENCES UNIT IN GEELONG During the year, the OPP commenced planning for a new Specialist Sex Offences Unit in Geelong. This Unit will adopt a similar approach to the Melbourne-based SSOU and will cover Geelong and the western region (covering cases dealt with in the Ballarat, Horsham, Hamilton and Warnambool courts as well as Geelong). The Unit will comprise three senior solicitors and a Crown Prosecutor and is expected to commence operations in 2009. Through the new Geelong Unit, the OPP aims to significantly improve the

prosecution of serious sex offences in regional areas. In particular, the OPP wants to reduce delays in prosecuting these matters, create consistency in prosecutions across the state, increase the guilty plea rate and reduce the acquittal rate in regional areas, and improve access to justice for victims in regional Victoria. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY During the course of 2007/08, the SSOU developed and introduced internal policies and practices to improve corporate governance and accountability. In

‘A GREAT START ’ As head of the Specialist Sex Offences Unit and with more than 20 years’ experience as a criminal advocate, Senior Crown Prosecutor Michele Williams SC is well-placed to assess the OPP’s new specialised approach to prosecuting sex crimes. Michele is very pleased with the unit’s first year of operation. “We’ve really made a great start,” she says. “We still have a long way to go, but we’re clearly heading in the right direction and we are already seeing some positive results. For example, our efforts to resolve matters appropriately at earlier stages mean that we are greatly reducing the stress experienced by the victims of these offences.” Michele believes that the proactive nature of the OPP’s new approach will deliver success as the SSOU develops and matures. “Overseas experience shows that specialist prosecutors who are proactive play a critical role in making the criminal justice system work more smoothly in these types of cases,” she says. “In turn, that makes the process much less stressful for victims.” Michele notes that the specialist approach taken by the unit is already leading to a more consistent approach to the handling of sex offence cases. “Crown Prosecutors personally cannot prosecute every single sex crime in Victoria,” she points out. “So a very important part of our work is to provide training to private barristers to establish consistency in the prosecution of sex offences right across the state. We do this to ensure that the sex offence reforms that relate

to the criminal justice system are put into practice, irrespective of who is prosecuting the case.” The unit’s growing expertise also means that it is able to put forward strong arguments for how legislation and policy relating to sex offences should be developed and implemented. “We intend to lead the way in this specialist style of prosecuting because we are in a very good position to see where improvements can be made across the system,” says Michele. Michele acknowledges that to be effective in calling for change, the unit must adopt a high standard of accountability. “We take very seriously our responsibility to fully document our activities, to be objective and professional in evaluating what we do, and to be open to changing direction where we learn that something is not working,” she says. As the unit moves into its second year, Michele would like to see it play a leading role in decreasing the attrition rate for sex offence matters in Victoria. “Reducing the attrition rate is not only a matter for the OPP,” she says. “The police, the courts and other agencies all play a part in making sure that cases proceed. With many of Victoria’s sexual assault reforms aimed at making the process less traumatic for victims, I am hoping to see a reduction in attrition rates as victims gain more confidence in the system.”

‘BEYOND THE COMPREHENSION OF ANY DECENT PERSON’ In August 2006, Mrs R (an 83-year-old woman) was walking with her daughter along a bike path in Bendigo. Mrs R became separated from her daughter and was subsequently approached by Mr E on his pushbike. Mr E, (who was 15 years old at the time), physically restrained Mrs R and dragged her away from the bike path and down an embankment beside a creek. Mrs R called out for help and resisted Mr E, but he continued to assault her in a particularly brutal manner, including punching her in the head, gouging at her eye, biting her and sexually assaulting her. After being confronted by Mrs R’s daughter and a passerby, Mr E fled the scene. Mrs R’s injuries included facial swelling and bruising, numerous lacerations to her face requiring stitching, bruising to her shoulder and chest, lacerations to her breast and cardiac problems 40 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

that were not apparent before the assault. Following his arrest, Mr E pleaded guilty to rape, making threats to kill, assault and intentionally causing serious injury. At Mr E’s sentencing hearing in September 2007, Justice Kellam of the Supreme Court described the offences as “simply beyond the comprehension of any decent person”. He stated that Mr E had demonstrated a “profound contempt for [Mrs R’s] dignity as a human being” and that the attack was “callous in the extreme”. In sentencing Mr E, Justice Kellam took into account the horrific and brutal circumstances of the assault, the principle of general deterrence and Mr E’s age and chances of rehabilitation. He sentenced Mr E to 13 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight years.


PIONEERING A NEW APPROACH TO PROSECUTING SEX OFFENCES

particular, the unit implemented: • a process to ensure that cases are allocated to a solicitor within two working days of the defendant being charged • a systematic briefing procedure • regular, planned liaison with key stakeholders. NEW DIRECTORATE As part of the reorganisation of the OPP’s legal functions, the operations of the SSOU will become one of the newly created legal directorates. The unit will continue to oversee the prosecution of

serious sex offences in Melbourne and regional Victoria, monitor and promote consistency in the prosecution of these offences, develop strategies for enhancing the prosecution of sex offences and actively drive improvements in the treatment of these offences in legislation, legal policy and the criminal justice system. Helen Fatouros has recently been appointed Directorate Manager, SSOU. She is looking forward to starting in her new role during this exciting time of change in the office.

Kerry Maikousis Solicitor Specialist Sex Offences Unit When the OPP’s Specialist Sex Offences Unit was set up in 2007, Kerry Maikousis knew immediately that she wanted to be involved. “I saw this as a huge innovation,” says Kerry, “and I wanted to be part of it.” Having been an articled clerk and then a solicitor at the OPP, Kerry returned to take up a position in the unit in May 2007 after a period working for the Judicial College of Victoria, where she ran training courses for magistrates and judges. While proud of the SSOU’s success, Kerry points out that sex offence cases are very complex and often emotionally draining. “There are times when you think you’ve seen everything, but you can still get a case that will shock you,” she says. “Cases can appear straightforward, but then throw up challenges that you didn’t see coming. The limits are always being stretched – emotionally and legally.” One of the most important aspects of Kerry’s work is the SSOU’s strong focus on supporting victims of serious sex crimes. “Concern for victims is a philosophy that underpins our work,” she says. “These are people who are often at a very low point and we are very conscious that they should not be victimised a second time by the court process.” Kerry notes that the strong collegiate atmosphere within the SSOU is important when working in such a difficult area of the law. “We operate under lots of different pressures, such as tight time frames, the volume of cases and the nature of the work,” she says. “The pace is really pretty intense and doing this sort of work can wear you down. You need people around you who are willing to step in and take some of the pressure off you at certain times – and we have that sort of environment and understanding in our team.” Kerry sees prosecuting sex offences as an area where “you really feel as if you are making a contribution to the community.” She adds, “It can be tough at times, but I get an enormous amount of satisfaction from my work.”

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 41


PIONEERING A NEW APPROACH TO PROSECUTING SEX OFFENCES

Jack Vandersteen Legal Prosecution Specialist Early Resolution Advocacy After 14 months as Manager of the Specialist Sex Offences Unit, Jack Vandersteen is moving on to a new challenge as one of the OPP’s newly appointed Legal Prosecution Specialists – the latest of several positions he has held since joining the office nine years ago. Jack is bidding farewell to the SSOU with considerable regret, but is proud of his part in developing the OPP’s new approach to prosecuting serious sex offences. “We are demonstrating that specialisation in prosecutions works,” he says. “We’re showing that by developing expertise in a particular area and by being very proactive in resolving cases that we can drive outcomes – and that has been a pretty big cultural shift for all involved: our solicitors, Crown Prosecutors, the private Bar, the police and the courts.” As the SSOU’s first manager, Jack was involved in most aspects of setting up the unit, including developing administrative procedures, establishing guidelines for private barristers and working with a range of agencies to implement reforms in the treatment of sex offences. “Our work is really part of a statewide platform that is much broader than the OPP,” notes Jack, pointing out that the Victorian Government has introduced extensive reforms in this area in recent years. “Everyone is working very hard to make sure these reforms work,” he says,” and we have had great support from many quarters – the Victorian Attorney-General, the Statewide Steering Committee to Reduce Sexual Assault, Victoria Police, the courts, the Department of Justice, the Child Witness Service, our own Witness Assistance Service and many others.” While prosecuting sex offences is highly demanding, Jack has a strong personal commitment to working in the area. “I feel very strongly that this is conduct that we cannot condone and that the criminal justice system should give the victims of these crimes the greatest consideration, compassion and respect in handling these matters,” he says. As he moves into a new role, Jack believes that the approach and principles adopted by the SSOU can be applied with equal success in other areas of prosecutions. “We can improve the conduct of prosecutions across a number of fronts,” he says. “For example, if we can reduce delays in the justice system and avoid the trauma of victims giving evidence while still achieving high rates of guilty pleas and convictions – that benefits everyone involved. “At the OPP, we do our core business of prosecuting well, but we can do it even better if we conduct that business as part of a broader policy framework. As the nature of prosecuting changes, we have to be more prepared to ‘think outside the square’ and see ourselves as part of the bigger picture. If we do that, we can achieve outstanding results that have an impact well beyond individual cases.”

42 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


REDUCING DELAYS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

ADVANTAGES OF EARLY RESOLUTION The OPP recognises the many advantages to the early resolution of matters, including: • Victims and witnesses do not have to endure the stress of delays and postponements, or the often traumatic experience of giving evidence in court. • Compared to contested matters, fewer resources need to be allocated to preparing cases by the OPP, the police and the courts. • Considerable court time, especially in the County and Supreme Courts, is freed up to hear more lengthy and complex matters. • With a high percentage of matters listed for trial ending up as pleas of guilty at very late stages in the proceedings, the scheduling of trials is made easier and the courts’ resources are not wasted in preparing for trials that do not proceed. • Critical issues can be resolved at an early stage, reducing the need for costly adjournments. • Where an accused person agrees to plead guilty, s/he is entitled to argue for a reduced sentence. EARLY RESOLUTION ADVOCACY UNIT In October 2007, the OPP established the Early Resolution Advocacy (ERA) Unit. The Unit comprises five experienced

Solicitor Advocates who have access to a Crown Prosecutor and a Legal Prosecution Specialist. These positions have been integrated into the OPP’s new directorate structure as part of the advocacy stream. The Managers of Directorates A (Complex Crime) and B (Principal Prosecutions) identify and allocate cases with the potential to be resolved quickly. The ERA Unit’s Solicitor Advocates assess the evidence and identify issues that may be preventing the case from being settled. They then negotiate with the defence and other relevant parties to achieve an early settlement. The unit adopts a proactive, specialised approach to resolving matters at an early stage. It aims to reduce the time spent by the courts in hearing contested matters, while still securing pleas of guilty to appropriate offences and ensuring that offenders receive adequate sentences. The Crown Prosecutor working with the ERA Unit has the authority to resolve prosecutions on behalf of the DPP (other than matters involving homicide or unlawful death where any early resolution agreement must be approved by the DPP). The ERA Unit deals with the full range of offences, other than serious sex offences. The early resolution of these offences is managed by the Specialist Sex Offences Unit.

While the OPP’s prosecutors have always endeavoured to resolve cases at an early stage, the creation of the ERA Unit enables consistent and accountable processes to be developed across all prosecutions. The success of this new specialised approach is reflected in the fact that around 60 per cent of all cases handled by the ERA Unit in its first eight months of operation have been resolved before committal. EARLY RESOLUTION ON CIRCUIT The OPP has dedicated one Solicitor Advocate to manage the early resolution of matters assigned to the OPP’s Western Circuit Section (which conducts prosecutions when the County and Supreme Courts sit in Victoria’s western region). This position, which has been operating for 15 months, has resulted in a significant increase in the early resolution of cases and made a substantial contribution to reducing court backlogs. Currently, solicitors working on the Northern and Eastern Circuits do not have the benefit of a dedicated early resolution Solicitor Advocate. However, these sections are committed to reducing delays and backlogs in regional cases and adopt a strong focus on early resolution in the conduct of prosecutions.

CONTESTED COMMITTALS

1600 1400 1200 1000 800 NUMBER OFCONTESTS

During the year, the DPP and the OPP played a critical role in reducing waiting lists and delays in Victoria’s courts. In particular, the OPP adopted a strong focus on resolving cases at an earlier stage through the creation of a new Early Resolution Advocacy Unit. The OPP recognises the adverse impact that delays can have on the criminal justice system, including a negative effect on the rights of defendants, greater stress and trauma for victims, and additional costs to the Victorian community. Over the past two years, the Victorian Government has increased resources to the OPP and other agencies to reduce case backlogs and delays in the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts. These additional resources have enabled the OPP to improve internal practices and streamline case management within the office, as well as work with the courts and other agencies to minimise delays across the criminal justice system.

600 400 200 0 1999–00

2000– 01

2001– 02

2002– 03

2003 – 04

2004 – 05

2005 – 06

2006–07

2007– 08

YEAR

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 43


COMMITTALS The OPP continued to prosecute indictable offences in the Magistrates’ Court, including committal mentions and committal hearings. During the year, the OPP worked with the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and Victoria Police to ensure the success of the new committals procedures introduced in 2006/07. The number of contested committals has fallen for the first time in seven years, reflecting the OPP’s efforts to resolve matters at the pre-committal stage. However, while the creation of the Early Resolution Advocacy Unit has reduced the number of cases for prosecutors working

on committals, a growing number of these cases are becoming increasingly complex and time consuming. PROCEDURE CHANGES The prospects of resolving cases at an early stage were further enhanced by changes to criminal procedure introduced by the Victorian Government through the Criminal Procedure Legislation Amendment Act 2008. These changes include: • Abolishing reserved pleas. At the conclusion of committal proceedings, defendants will no longer be permitted to reserve their pleas: they will be required to either plead guilty or not guilty.

• Introducing sentence indications and discounts. Under these changes, the court will indicate the sentence that it would have imposed had the defendant not pleaded guilty. The court will also identify the amount of a sentence discount given for a guilty plea. This is aimed at encouraging defendants to make their plea decision at an earlier stage, with more knowledge and certainty about what sentence they are likely to receive. These changes to procedure will have an impact on the ERA Unit, as well on the OPP’s conduct of prosecutions more generally.

REDUCING DELAYS IN THE SUPREME COURT In 2007/08, the OPP contributed to ensuring that matters proceed as expeditiously and efficiently as possible in the Supreme Court of Victoria. In particular, the OPP continued to monitor Section 5 hearings in the Supreme Court, with the aim of identifying and addressing pre-trial issues in order to reduce trial delays. The aim of a Section 5 hearing is to inform the Supreme Court of any progress towards resolving a matter and to ensure that the trial commences on the proposed or fixed date by identifying at an early stage any issues that may cause delay. Matters committed to the Supreme Court for trial must be listed for a Section 5 hearing within 14 days of the completion of the committal hearing (Practice Note 5 of 2006: Criminal Division – Case Management by Section 5 Hearings). Counsel retained for the committal or the trial are required to appear at the Section 5 hearing and to be in a position to address a number of matters, including: anticipated issues at the trial and whether any issues warrant pre-trial hearings; an estimate of the hearing time needed for the trial; any problems that might prevent the trial proceeding quickly and smoothly; the number and availability of witnesses; any security issues; any special requirements for witnesses; and whether extensive pre-trial management is required. The commencement of Section 5 hearings in 2006 raised significant issues for the operations and resources of the OPP. In 2007/08, the OPP introduced a significant change to its procedures in relation to these hearings, requiring solicitors to attend and take full responsibility for Section 5 hearings in the cases assigned

44 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

to them. This establishes continuity throughout the conduct of a particular prosecution, ensures that the court’s questions can be answered on the day of the hearing and helps to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of these hearings. Over the past 12 months, the OPP: • prepared 81 Section 5 hearings • ensured that counsel appearing at the committal hearing also appeared at the Section 5 hearing in 85 per cent of matters. In the remaining 15 per cent of matters, the OPP has ensured that a replacement Crown Prosecutor appeared where the committal hearing Crown Prosecutor was unable to appear (61 per cent of matters); that a Crown Prosecutor appeared where the matter had proceeded at committal mention without a committal hearing (9 per cent); and that counsel familiar with the matter appeared where counsel who appeared at the committal was unable to appear (30 per cent) • ensured that presentments were prepared, signed and filed at Section 5 hearings in more than 93 per cent of matters. In the remaining 7 per cent of matters, presentments were not prepared due to ongoing forensic testing or where it was inappropriate to file presentments as the Crown was considering offers to alternate offences or nolles prosequi. These outcomes reflect the strong commitment of the DPP and the OPP to support the efforts being made by the Supreme Court to minimise delays and improve the operations of the court.


REDUCING DELAYS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

“This specialist approach to early resolution is a significant change in practice that is beneficial to the court system, the criminal justice system, victims and the community of Victoria. It requires cooperation between all parties for it to work, but it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.“ Kieran Gilligan Crown Prosecutor

CRIMINAL JUSTICE STEERING COMMITTEE The DPP and the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions continued their participation in the Criminal Justice Steering Committee, which considers issues affecting the criminal justice system. The committee (which includes the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Judge of the County Court, the Chief Magistrate, the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, the Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid and the Secretary of the Department of Justice) is currently

overseeing reforms aimed at reducing delays in the criminal justice system. The committee’s work includes developing, facilitating and evaluating initiatives to reduce delays.

John Dickie Solicitor Advocate Early Resolution Advocacy Unit The opportunity to undertake more advocacy work brought John Dickie to the OPP in October 2007, following stints at Victoria Legal Aid and the Commonwealth DPP. Having appeared in contested committals, County Court pleas and trials and the Court of Appeal, John believes there are “real and exciting prospects” at the OPP for further expanding his advocacy experience. As a Solicitor Advocate in the OPP’s Early Resolution Advocacy Unit, John’s main focus is on resolving matters at an early stage, with the aim of reducing delays across the criminal justice system. “The OPP is strongly committed to the early resolution of cases,” says John. “We’ve got a dedicated team of experienced lawyers that focuses on getting matters settled quickly. We identify files that are capable of early resolution, analyse the evidence, narrow down the issues as early as possible, discuss the file with the police and then open up a discussion with the defence.” John sees the formation of the early resolution team within the OPP as a very positive development. “I think it’s a great initiative,” he says. “If you’re serious about reducing delays in the court system, it’s important to be able to make calls about cases at the earliest opportunity. That means identifying at an early stage the issues that may be preventing a matter from settling quickly to appropriate charges. To be successful, you need to focus on that task quite intently – and that’s what our team does.”

At present, John’s work with the early resolution team mainly involves appearances in the Magistrates’ Court. However, he’s looking forward to being part of the OPP’s plans to offer greater advocacy opportunities for solicitors. John believes that the benefits of opening up career paths in advocacy for solicitors extend beyond individuals. “It’s also a way to keep experienced people here at the OPP,” he says. “There are many talented solicitors who are capable of doing appearance work. If they are encouraged, trained and supported to do this kind of work, they’re much more likely to stay with the office. “That has to be of great benefit not only to the OPP, but also to prosecutions in general.” OPPAnnual AnnualReport Report2007/08 2007/08 45 45 OPP


SUPPORTING VICTIMS AND WITNESSES

WITNESS ASSISTANCE SERVICE The OPP’s Witness Assistance Service (WAS) offers support, advice and assistance to victims and witnesses of crime in Victoria. WAS comprises four case managers and two administrative staff. During 2007/08, WAS received over 1,600 new referrals to assist victims and witnesses – a substantial increase from the 1,300 referrals received in 2006/07. Services provided by WAS varied according to the specific needs and circumstances of victims and witnesses. In addition to offering clear information about court procedures and processes, WAS provided personal support for victims and witnesses attending court, organised transport and accommodation when required, conducted pre-trial conferences between victims, solicitors and prosecutors, organised post hearing de-briefings, and provided referrals to other support services. During the year, WAS also provided support for “secondary” victims of crime, particularly family members. In addition to its usual workload, WAS provided support to victims and witnesses in two high-profile cases. In the Towle case (where a driver collided with a group of teenagers in Mildura, killing six and seriously injuring four people), WAS provided support to a large number of secondary victims and witnesses, including assisting family members find accommodation in Melbourne after the case was moved from Mildura. In the Farquharson case (where the father of three young boys drove off the road into a dam, causing the deaths of all 46 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

three children), WAS assisted many of the 49 witnesses involved in the trial. These lengthy cases placed considerable additional demand on WAS’s resources and staff. VICTIMS’ CHARTER In late 2006, the Victorian Government introduced the Victims’ Charter, which sets out 12 principles that criminal justice agencies – such as Victoria Police, victim support agencies and the OPP – must follow in their dealings with victims of crime. The Charter includes a complaints process if victims feel that these principles have not been followed. Of particular relevance to the OPP are the Charter’s requirements that victims are treated with courtesy, respect and dignity; that they are given clear and up-to-date information about their legal rights and the progress of the case against the accused person; and that they are informed about court processes, including their role as a witness. Throughout 2007/08, the OPP worked hard to uphold these principles, both within the culture of the office and by the way in which staff members carried out their professional responsibilities on a daily basis. DIRECTOR’S POLICY AND WEBSITE INFORMATION In 2008, for the first time, the DPP made available the Director’s Policy and Guidelines on Victims and Witnesses

on the upgraded OPP website. The publication of the policy will assist in disseminating information to the Victorian community about the OPP’s approach to victims and witnesses, as well as reinforcing the strong commitment of the DPP and the OPP to supporting the victims of serious crimes. The new website also features a separate section for victims and witnesses, which includes contact details for support services, advice and information about court procedures and the criminal justice system, and specific sections that outline how to prepare for a court appearance and what to expect on the day of the hearing. WORKING WITH EXTERNAL AGENCIES Throughout 2007/08, the OPP continued to work with external agencies to improve support to victims and witnesses. In September 2007, Victoria’s first Child Witness Service was opened by the Attorney-General, Rob Hulls. The OPP is involved in the Child Witness Service Advisory Group, which oversees the development of the service. Based in the Melbourne court precinct, the service provides information, education, support and assistance to child witnesses who are required to give evidence in court proceedings. The service complements the

WITNESS ASSISTANCE SERVICE CASE REFERRALS

1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 CASE REFERRALS

The Office of Public Prosecutions believes that a fair and effective prosecutions service requires that victims and witnesses are supported and respected in their experiences with the criminal justice system. In 2007/08, the OPP received more than 1,600 referrals to provide support, information and assistance to victims and witnesses of serious crimes. The OPP recognises that most victims and witnesses have little or no experience of the criminal justice system and that this can lead to fear, intimidation and confusion – with negative impacts not only upon individuals, but also upon the administration of a fair and just legal system. In 2007/08, the OPP continued to improve its support for the victims and witnesses of serious crimes and to incorporate consideration of victims into Victoria’s prosecution service.

400 200 0 2001– 02

2002– 03

2003–04

2004–05 YEAR

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08


services provided to adults by the OPP and works with WAS to ensure that all victims receive appropriate support. During the year, WAS worked with the Victorian Court Network, Victoria Police, Centres Against Sexual Assault, the Victims Support Agency, the Victims of Crime Support Agency, the Victims Assistance and Counselling Program and other support agencies, providing assistance to victims and witnesses across Victoria. SPECIALIST SEX OFFENCES UNIT WAS provided strong support to the OPP’s new Specialist Sex Offences Unit (SSOU) during its first year of operation. WAS staff worked with SSOU staff in

developing policies and practices to ensure that appropriate support and information is provided to victims of serious sex offences. By improving the support provided to victims of these offences, the OPP aims to ensure that more of these cases proceed to conviction and sentence, and that victims are encouraged to report these crimes to police. NEW VICTIMS STRATEGY AND SERVICES DIRECTORATE A new Victims Strategy and Services Directorate is being established as part of the reorganisation of the OPP. The new Directorate will include the Witness Assistance Service and a number of

additional functions. Creating this Directorate will reinforce the OPP’s aim of fully integrating support for victims into its prosecution practice. It will also help to create a greater awareness – within the OPP and across the wider community – of the importance of supporting victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system. It will improve the capacity of the OPP to promote its victim support services to external agencies and consolidate the office’s leadership in this rapidly expanding area of prosecutions.

Anne O’Brien Victims Specialist Witness Assistance Service Anne O’Brien knows how fortunate she is to be able to say: “I never don’t want to come to work.” As a Victims Specialist with the OPP Witness Assistance Service (WAS), Anne finds her work demanding, interesting and satisfying on a daily basis. “The variety of the work and the professional satisfaction that I get from providing legal education, information and support to people who have never had anything to do with the criminal justice system is very rewarding,” says Anne. Anne began work at WAS in 1997, having worked as a social worker at Oz Child family and children’s services for five years. In those days, the service was much smaller and in its infancy, comprising two social workers, Anne and Anni Davie. Anni, who was head-hunted from NSW DPP’s Witness Assistance Service, already had extensive experience in the areas of sexual assault and witness support (including support for the family in the Anita Cobby case). Anni retired this year after 13 years with the OPP and Anne is keen to pay tribute to Anni and her time with WAS. “Anni was an invaluable asset to the fledgling WAS because of her experience with witnesses and her passion to change the way in which the criminal justice system responds to them,” Anne says. ”She was also a wonderful teacher and mentor to myself and others.” Since 1997, the service has grown in size, capability and reputation – thanks to the strong support of previous Directors of Public Prosecutions (particularly Geoff Flatman and Paul Coghlan) and through the dedicated work of WAS staff members. Anne notes that the work carried out by WAS is not only important to individual victims and witnesses, it also has a positive impact on the operation of the courts. “Through the work we do here and through the support we get from the

rest of the OPP, we are also able to help enhance the quality of evidence by demystifying the legal system for victims,” she says. Anne is particularly excited by current developments at WAS, with the service about to become part of a separate Victims Strategy and Services Directorate within the office. “This is a really positive step forward,” says Anne. “It will assist us in carrying out our increasing case load, enable WAS to promote its services throughout the criminal justice system and demonstrate that what we do here is best practice. “Victims and witnesses in Victoria can benefit greatly from this increased profile and focus.” Anne continues to find her work “tremendously challenging” and has high praise for her co-workers at WAS. “If we didn’t have the team we have here, it would not be such a pleasure to come to work every day,” she says. “But we also feel it is rewarding and important work. I can see myself working here for a few years yet – there is a lot to be done.” OPP Annual Report 2007/08 47


SUPPORTING MULTIPLE VICTIMS AND WITNESSES Driving home to Red Cliffs in north-western Victoria in February 2006 after visiting his brother in Cardross (a journey of around four kilometres), Mr T failed to negotiate a right-hand bend and his vehicle struck a group of children who were standing to the side of the road. Six of the children were killed and another four were seriously injured. Evidence was given at Mr T’s trial that he was observed driving at a speed “most probably” in excess of the speed limit for the location. At the time of the accident, Mr T had been driving with his four-yearold child on his lap and had been forewarned by his brother of the presence of the children at the location. Mr T left the scene of the accident, handing himself over to police five hours later. At the committal hearing in Mildura in March 2007, 42 witnesses were called, including 28 children. Due to concerns about his safety, Mr T did not attend the hearing in person, but appeared via a video link. The trial was moved from Mildura to Melbourne to ensure an impartial jury with no connection to any of the people involved in the case. In February 2008, Mr T was found guilty by a Supreme Court jury of dangerous driving causing death and serious injury. In sentencing Mr T to a total of 10 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of seven years, Justice Cummins stated: “This is a case of multi-faceted lack of attention at high speed at night and with knowledge of risk – and with terrible consequences.” The OPP’s Witness Assistance Service (top) was involved throughout the trial in providing support, information and advice to many of the victims and witnesses involved in the case. Anne O’Brien, Victims Specialist with WAS said that “because of the nature of this very difficult case, the fact that there were more than 40 witnesses involved and the devastating effect that it had on the families and friends of those killed and injured, it was critical for WAS to be able to offer help to many of the young people involved”. Due to the relocation of the trial from Mildura, witnesses and family

48 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

members required assistance with transport and accommodation costs. “At times, it was a logistical and geographic nightmare – locating family members and finding sufficient funds to transport and accommodate them in Melbourne,” said Anne, noting that the Victorian Government and Qantas provided additional funding and assistance. “As well, many of the people involved were very young, understandably traumatised by the trial and without any previous experience of the processes of the criminal justice system. It was important for these young people to have a consistent, supportive and sensitive person to assist them through the trial process – and while it was difficult at times for WAS in terms of available resources, we were able to provide this support.” After Mr T was sentenced, WAS continued to provide information and support to witnesses and the families involved. “Some of the young witnesses found it very difficult to understand the court’s decision and the sentence handed down by Justice Cummins,” said Anne. “After the case finished, it was important to ensure that witnesses, victims and families were given proper and clear information as to the legal reasoning behind those decisions.” Anne recognises that many people were deeply unhappy with the outcome in this particular case. However, from her long experience supporting victims of crime, she believes that providing impartial advice and information about court processes and decisions can help to reduce the trauma and stress surrounding criminal trials. Anne observed: “Even where the desired outcome does not eventuate, victims and witnesses often do not walk away completely dissatisfied with the legal system if they have been fully informed and properly prepared.”


INFLUENCING LEGAL POLICY AND LAW REFORM

The OPP plays a leading role in the development and modernisation of legal policy and practice in Victoria – providing advice to the Victorian Government and public authorities, engaging in law reform activities, and developing policies and strategies related to the criminal law and the criminal justice system. Through its Policy and Advice Directorate, the OPP applies its expertise and experience in prosecutions to drive improvements in the criminal law and in the operations of the criminal justice system. During 2007/08, the OPP identified and pursued areas of law and legal practice in need of reform, working closely with Victoria Police, the Department of Justice, the courts, the legal profession and community groups. PROCEDURAL REFORM The OPP makes a substantial contribution to the successful implementation of the Victorian Government’s 2004 Justice Statement and the Strategic Priorities identified by the Department of Justice for 2007 and 2008. The OPP continues to work with the Department in its ongoing review of Victorian criminal law and procedure, in line with the commitment given by the Government in its Justice Statement. In 2007/08, this work included: • reviewing the grounds of appeals and section 568(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 • researching the possible introduction of interlocutory appeals • reviewing the structure of appeals against sentence • making recommendations for the draft Criminal Procedure Bill. PRACTICE REFORM The Policy and Advice Directorate monitors and analyses emerging trends in prosecutions. The OPP uses this information to build expertise in particular areas of practice, drive greater consistency in the conduct and outcomes of prosecutions, ensure that prosecutors keep up with the latest developments, and influence the practice of criminal law. In 2007/08, the focus of these efforts included: • monitoring and analysing sentences in cases of child homicide • monitoring the early impact of

the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and developing protocols and materials to ensure compliance with the Charter by prosecutors and the courts • monitoring the impact of Victoria’s asset confiscation scheme on the conduct of prosecutions and testing the relevance of confiscation orders to sentencing. The DPP has also indicated that he wants to see a reduction in the number of suppression orders being issued in Victoria, stating that he will argue for secrecy in court proceedings only in rare cases where the administration of justice would be adversely affected or where a person’s safety is at risk. While the recent “gangland” and police corruption trials have contributed to an increase in suppression orders, the DPP has indicated that he expects prosecutors to uphold the principle of open and transparent justice. The OPP is monitoring the number and nature of suppression orders to ensure that the DPP’s concerns are addressed. LAW REFORM During the year, the OPP responded to a wide range of inquiries, reviews and discussion papers, including: • the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s detailed review of the Bail Act 1977, particularly in relation to Victoria’s higher courts • the review of the Coroner’s Act 1985, especially as it affects the role of the DPP in assisting the Coroner • proposals to reform processes under the Sentencing Act 1991 that enable victims of crime to seek compensation from offenders • proposals to expand the existing Extended Supervision Order regime for serious sex offenders to cover a broader range of offences and to provide a greater range of supervision and detention options for the management of high-risk sex offenders • the Sentencing Advisory Council’s review of Suspended Sentences and other related orders, particularly as these sentences are used in the higher courts • the Sentencing Advisory Council’s review of the penalties applicable to breaches of Intervention Orders and related issues, especially as they affect the safety and welfare of victims

• proposals to streamline the management of cases in the County and Supreme Courts, develop criteria for the allocation of matters between the courts and create a single criminal list covering both courts • the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review of the law of abortion in Victoria, which provided advice to the Attorney-General on options for the decriminalisation of terminations of pregnancy • the Hanks Review of Victoria’s Accident Compensation Act 1985, particularly in relation to criminal prosecutions under the Act, penalties for offences, and search warrants and obstruction offences • the Victorian Parliament’s Law Reform Committee Inquiry into Vexatious Litigants • the development of a Justice Mental Health Strategy by the Victorian Government • the development of the Government’s Justice Statement 2, which will build on the achievements of the 2004 Justice Statement and include major reforms in relation to costs, victims and the better integration of the courts into the criminal justice system. LEGISLATIVE REFORM During the year, the OPP provided expert advice and comment on a number of legislative reforms that will have an impact on the conduct of prosecutions in Victoria, including: • Criminal Procedure Legislation Amendment Act 2008. This Act introduces changes to the conduct of criminal cases in Victoria, including enabling the courts to give sentencing indications and identify sentence discounts, and abolishing reserved pleas. • Justice Legislation Amendment (Sex Offences Procedure) Act 2008. This Act makes a number of changes in relation to sex offences, including: – Providing further alternative arrangements for children and victims with cognitive impairment giving evidence in sex offence proceedings – A  mending the Sex Offender Registration Act 2004 to provide a lifelong reporting obligation for persons convicted of persistent sexual abuse of a child under 16. OPP Annual Report 2007/08 49


• Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2008, which amends the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 to: – expand the category of offences that can be the subject of Extended Supervision Orders to include offences committed against adults – give the court power to grant interim Extended Supervision Orders in appropriate cases – provide assessing clinicians with additional powers to request further reports. • Crimes Amendment (Child Homicide) Act 2008. This Act makes a number of changes in relation to serious offences, including:

–creating a new offence of child homicide, punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment – I ncreasing the maximum penalty for negligently causing serious injury from 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment – s plitting the offences of dangerous driving causing death or serious injury into two separate offences, and increasing the maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death to 10 years’ imprisonment. ADVICE TO EXTERNAL AGENCIES The OPP continues to be a source of expert advice and assistance to many external

agencies. In 2007/08, this included: • advice to the Victorian Attorney-General regarding the maximum penalty for the offences of negligently causing serious injury and dangerous driving causing death or serious injury, and the operation of various legislative provisions relating to sexual offences and defensive homicide • advice to Victoria Police on a range of issues, including sex offence matters, the operation of the Victims Charter, mental impairment, informer management, prosecution appeals and the management of dangerous exhibits in court

HUMAN RIGHTS: AN EVOLVING AREA OF PROSECUTIONS On 1 January 2008, Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 came into full operation. The Charter places a duty on public authorities to act compatibly with human rights and to give proper consideration to those rights when they develop policies, create and enforce laws, provide services and make decisions. The DPP and the OPP have taken a number of steps to ensure that Victoria’s prosecution service complies with the Charter. In 2007, the DPP issued a Director’s Policy that requires all OPP staff to be mindful of the principles and purpose underlying the Charter as they conduct the business of the office, including: • familiarising themselves with the human rights contained in the Charter and being alert to the possible application of these rights to the files they are handling • considering, promoting and supporting the human rights set out in the Charter in providing advice or making decisions • dealing expeditiously with all cases referred to the OPP for advice • conducting all prosecutions without unreasonable delay. The OPP reviewed internal practices to ensure compliance with the Charter, as well as ensuring that staff participated in training about their responsibilities under the Charter. The OPP’s Policy and Advice Directorate prepared material for solicitors and prosecutors to develop a consistent approach to Charter issues, provided advice on whether particular files raised issues relating to the application

or interpretation of the Charter and liaised with the Chief Crown Prosecutor, the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Justice and the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office on matters arising in relation to the Charter. The DPP and OPP also dealt with a number of cases that raised human rights issues, including: freedom of expression: General Television Corporation v DPP and “A” (Underbelly). Channel 9 appealed against an order of a Justice of the Supreme Court made on 15 February 2008, which prohibited the publication, broadcasting or exhibition of the television program Underbelly in Victoria until after the trial of ‘A’ had been completed. General Television Corporation Pty Ltd argued that the order was a breach of the right to free speech. While this ground of appeal was ultimately abandoned, the court noted that it would have relied upon the view of Richardson J in Gisborne Herald v Solicitor-General [1995] 3 NZLR 563, 575: “The present rule is that where on the conventional analysis freedom of expression and fair trial rights cannot be fully assured, it is appropriate in our free and democratic society to temporarily curtail freedom of media expression so as to guarantee a fair trial.”

BAIL APPLICATION The applicant Mr B was charged with conspiracy to traffic a commercial quantity of drugs and was required to show exceptional circumstances in order to be granted bail. During the final submissions, the defence raised the issue of delay, stating that the trial was likely to be delayed for two years. As a result, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the recent judgment of Bongiorno J in the application of Kelly Michael Gray [2008] VSC 4 were discussed. The DPP submitted that the application should

50 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

be distinguished on the basis that whilst Bongiorno J accepted that Gray may well have remained in custody for a period in excess of his probable sentence, Mr B was likely to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment well in excess of any potential period of remand. The Magistrate ruled that whilst Mr B had demonstrated exceptional circumstances and that the likely delay would be inordinate, the risks of his re-offending and/or fleeing were unacceptable and could not be alleviated by strict conditions. Accordingly, bail was refused.


INFLUENCING LEGAL POLICY AND LAW REFORM

• advice, assistance and support to external agencies involved in implementing and monitoring major legislative and operational reforms, including the Charter of Human Rights and the Victims Charter. • developing memoranda of understanding and protocols with the following agencies: Child Witness Service, Asset Confiscation Office, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Department of Primary Industries, Environment Protection Agency, Forensicare, Office of Corrections, Office of Military Prosecutions, Office of Police Integrity,

Ombudsman, Transport Accident Commission and the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal. PETITION OF MERCY The OPP worked with the Criminal Law Policy Branch of the Department of Justice on the Petition of Mercy sought for Colin Campbell Ross. Ross was executed for the rape and murder of schoolgirl Nell Alma Tirtschke in 1922, despite evidence that he was innocent. In the 1990s, a reexamination of evidence in the case using modern forensic techniques supported the view that Ross was innocent. In 2006, the Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls

submitted a petition to the Chief Justice, Marilyn Warren, asking her to consider a plea of mercy for Ross. On 27 May 2008, the Governor of Victoria pardoned Ross – the first instance of a posthumous pardon in Victoria’s legal history.

Jennifer Powell Solicitor Policy and Advice Directorate After completing her Arts and Law degrees, Jennifer Powell worked in the Department of Justice and the Office of Women’s Policy within the Department for Victorian Communities. Jennifer was accepted into the articled clerkship program at the Office of Public Prosecutions in March 2007 and is confident that she has made the right choice for advancing her legal career. “I was initially attracted to the OPP because I wanted to use my legal background more than I had previously,” Jennifer says. “After working in the office’s County Court Appeals Section for a while, I applied for a position in the policy and advice area – and I’ve been on a very steep learning curve ever since!” Jennifer’s work involves monitoring changes to the law and the impact these changes have on OPP policies and practices. She also advises OPP staff on how legislative changes and initiatives will affect them. “My work includes researching discrete legal issues, as well as fielding a variety of enquiries,” says Jennifer. “For example, we recently gave advice on a jurisdictional matter concerning the application of a Victorian Community Based Order in Queensland.” The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities is an exciting new area of law in Victoria. Jennifer notes the challenges involved in keeping up with this emerging area of legal practice, adding that “it will be interesting to see how the courts interpret the Charter in the future and the effect that interpretation will have on the way the OPP conducts prosecutions”. To be effective in her work, Jennifer needs an extensive knowledge of a wide variety of legislation – both in force and under consideration by parliament. She is currently working on the upcoming Criminal Procedure Bill, expected to be enacted some time next year, which will have significant procedural and policy implications for the OPP. “There is a lot to get your head around,” says Jennifer. “But I have found people within this unit to be very supportive and helpful. It is a very experienced team and that has helped me tremendously in getting on top of the job.” OPP Annual Report 2007/08 51


INFLUENCING LEGAL POLICY AND LAW REFORM

OPP REPRESENTATION ON COMMITTEES AND ADVISORY GROUPS During 2007/08, the OPP was represented on a range of standing committees and advisory groups, and participated in a number of groups overseeing new developments in the criminal justice system. COMMITTEE

PURPOSE

CHAIR

Asset Confiscation Project Board

Supervise the review of the Asset Confiscation Scheme

DOJ

Child Witness Service Advisory Group

Oversee implementation of the Child Witness Service

DOJ

CJEP Governance Board

Determine the strategic direction for the future development of CJEP and monitor progress of CJEP programs

DOJ

CJEP Information Security and Privacy Committee

Monitor and advice CJEP Governance Board on security and privacy implications of CJEP IT environments

DOJ

Continued Detention Legal Working Group

Discuss and develop proposed continued detention models

DOJ

County Court Criminal Users Group

Discuss and resolve issues relating to the County Court’s criminal jurisdiction

County Court

County Koori Court Reference Group

Oversee the development and implementation of the County Koori Court

County Court

Criminal Justice Enhancement Program (CJEP) Steering Committee

Oversee information and knowledge management initiatives within the criminal justice system

DOJ

Criminal Justice System Steering Committee

Identify and address issues relating to the operation of the Victorian criminal justice system

DOJ

Criminal Law Justice Statement Advisory Committee

Implement the Victorian Attorney-General’s Justice Statement

DOJ

Criminal Law Justice Statement Offences Review Group

Oversee the review of all criminal offences in Victoria

DOJ

Dangerous Exhibits Working Group

Develop cross-jurisdictional protocols on the management of dangerous exhibits

Supreme Court

Expediting Evidentiary Procedure and Analysis Steering Committee

Develop an interagency approach to managing indictable drug cases

Victoria Police

Forensic Nurses Network Advisory Committee

Oversee the Forensic Nurses Project which forms part of the DOJ Sexual Assault Reform Package

DOJ

Forensic Services Advisory Board

Consultation and advice to Victoria Police Forensic Services Department on strategic direction

Victoria Police

Human Rights Litigation Strategy

Identify and develop strategies to address the impact of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities on prosecutions

Victorian Government Solicitor

Implementation Coordination Group

Oversee the implementation of the Evidence Bill (Act) and the Crimes Procedure Bill (Act)

DOJ

Judicial College of Victoria MultiDisciplinary Steering Committee

Develop a sexual assault training package and education framework

Judicial College of Victoria

Law Institute of Victoria – Criminal Law Committee

Discuss matters relating to the practice of criminal law in Victoria

Law Institute

Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Criminal Court Users Group

Discuss and resolve issues relating to the Magistrates’ Court criminal jurisdiction

Melbourne Magistrates’ Court

Mutual Assistance Act Liaison Officers Group

Respond to requests for mutual assistance from other countries

Commonwealth Attorney-General

OPP/Victoria Police Consultative Forum

Discuss issues of mutual concern to OPP and Victoria Police

Victoria Police

Policing Just Outcomes Reference Group

Provide support and advice for ARC project aimed at improving police responses to adult sexual assault in Victoria

University of Melbourne

Sexual Assault Advisory Committee

Discuss and have input into implementation and delivery of sex offence reforms in the criminal justice system

DOJ

Sexual Assault Steering Committee

Oversee and coordinate reforms to the criminal justice system to address sexual assault

DOJ

Statewide Steering Committee to Reduce Sexual Assault

Advise the Victorian Government on improving responses to sexual assault

Victoria Police and Office of Women’s Policy

Therapeutic Treatment Board

Evaluate and advise on services available for children in need of therapeutic treatment (aged 10 years and under 15 years old) and advise on the appropriateness of the application for a therapeutic treatment order

DHS

Victims’ Charter Executive Steering Committee

Oversee the implementation of the Victims’ Charter

DOJ

Victorian Law Reform Commission Bail Advisory Group

Provide advice to the Commission’s review of the Victorian Bail Act

VLRC

Victorian Sentencing Manual Editorial Committee

Oversee updates to the online Victorian Sentencing Manual

Judicial College of Victoria

52 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


BUILDING A DISTINCTIVE, HIGH-PERFORMING PROSECUTION PRACTICE The Office of Public Prosecutions is undertaking a major, multi-year organisational change program that aims to enable the OPP to better respond to the changing demands of the criminal justice system and to position the office as a distinctive, high-performing legal practice. As the nature of prosecutions changes, the OPP must continue to deliver a high quality prosecution practice within a rapidly evolving environment. During the year, the OPP continued to reorganise, upgrade and expand its legal practice and corporate functions to ensure that it has the capability to meet the challenges ahead. OPP ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE PROGRAM The OPP continued to implement the major organisational change program that commenced in 2006/07. The program’s objectives include: • establishing a modern prosecutions legal practice able to respond to the changing needs of the criminal justice system and the priorities of government • ensuring that the special independent role of the Director of Public Prosecutions is properly supported • providing an organisational structure and processes that better support initiatives around reducing delays and early intervention • creating processes and a culture that strongly support OPP’s partners in the criminal justice system, as well as witnesses and victims • providing improved career satisfaction and opportunities for staff and capturing their skills and knowledge to drive improvements in the criminal justice system • establishing an organisation with which members of the private Bar are keen to work and where the standards expected of the Bar are clear. The program’s scope is extensive and touches all areas of the OPP’s legal and corporate functions. It encompasses specific projects and activities and includes significant changes to the office’s structure, systems, business strategy, technology and people management. Changes to the OPP’s legal practice have been based on the report “A Blueprint for Effective, Efficient and Economical Prosecutions” – the result of a major review undertaken by an external consultant between October 2006 and April 2007. During 2007/08, the organisational

change program focused on: • developing the concept design recommended by the Blueprint report into an operational model • developing a phased implementation program for the operational model (commencing in March 2008 and scheduled for completion in August 2008) • reviewing work areas and processes that were not the subject of the Blueprint report, but where the need for significant change was highlighted by the report (such as victims’ services and administrative support to the OPP’s legal practice). Key elements of the design and new approach to the OPP’s prosecution service include: • Separation of management responsibilities in the office’s legal practice from the responsibilities of being a legal specialist, which aims to ensure that managers receive better support in managing staff, while allowing the OPP’s legal specialists to develop their own and staff expertise in key areas of law. • Development of legal specialists in a number of key and emerging areas of law, consistent with the increasing complexity of cases and the Victorian Government’s commitments in certain areas (such as organised crime). • Case management and early intervention approach to prosecution cases whereby each matter entering the office is assessed by a senior manager and then allocated to a solicitor who retains responsibility for the matter throughout the prosecution. The assessment considers a number of criteria including risk, complexity, workload impact, early resolution potential, need for the confiscation of proceeds of crime and issues relevant to victims and witnesses. • Creation of a new model of advocacy, enabling in-house solicitors to appear as advocates in a wider variety of court proceedings, including more complex matters. • Improvment of career opportunities for staff through the introduction of a business model that enables individual solicitors to develop legal specialities, as well as gain exposure to diverse areas of law. A new administrative support structure will provide a career path for staff and improve support for the core business of the OPP. •S  tronger management of the private Bar briefings process through improved processes within the office and

significantly enhanced contract management practices. The OPP has created two new executive positions to provide support to the Solicitor: a Legal Practice Manager (who is responsible for the OPP’s legal practice), and a General Manager Corporate Services (who is responsible for the office’s corporate functions). These positions were filled during the year. During 2008/09 the organisational change program will involve implementing the final stage of the new structure and business model, and the new administrative support structure. The program will also implement and further develop the new advocacy model and associated training program. It will establish new governance arrangements for the office, including a new leadership group – the Strategic Management Group – which will commence early in 2008/09. BETTER VALUE FROM BRIEFING The office recognises the need to obtain maximum accountability and value from this very substantial expenditure. During the year, following a comprehensive review of briefing practices, the OPP introduced a new briefing structure that aims to improve the office’s engagement with the Victorian Bar, ensure that service levels remain high and that consistently good outcomes are obtained for victims of serious crimes. The new structure includes: • a new Briefing Services and Appeals Directorate with responsibility for managing the OPP’s briefing practices • a new, more competitive fee structure for the private Bar • a Service Level Charter that sets out the OPP’s expectations and obligations when briefing private barristers, including requirements to be familiar with the Victims Charter and Charter for Human Rights and Responsibilities • a new Case Assignment Rating system that ranks and assigns matters according to their complexity • a new Counsel Advisory Group, which allocates more complex cases to counsel and ensures an appropriate match between the Crown Prosecutor or barrister and the particular trial in question (in terms of their experience and expertise) • a proactive approach to attracting new members of the Bar to prosecutions (which has already led to more than 60 OPP Annual Report 2007/08 53


BUILDING A DISTINCTIVE, HIGH-PERFORMING PROSECUTION PRACTICE

applications from barristers who have not previously taken OPP briefs) • new briefing contracts, better monitoring and reporting procedures, and improved invoicing and payment systems • new internal briefing processes to centralise briefing decisions and to ensure consistent consideration is given to the preparation required and the experience of counsel required. AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE Over the past two years, the OPP has undertaken a major recruitment drive to ensure that the office has the skills, experience and expertise to continue to

deliver a high quality prosecution service. As this drive proceeds, it is essential for the OPP to remain an “employer of choice”, able to offer a modern work environment, strong career prospects, ongoing professional development and opportunities to achieve a better worklife balance. As well as improving work environments and HR practices, the OPP has been increasingly focused on developing working conditions that are flexible and family friendly. As part of that focus, the office endeavours to create opportunities for part-time employment and arrangements that involve job-sharing or working from home.

A number of staff have taken up these opportunities, from both the legal and corporate sides of the office. For the first time in 2007/08, a senior legal position is being job-shared, with Louise Wilkinson and Julie Carpenter sharing the position of Program Manager and now Legal Prosecution Specialist (see page 32). Angela Rankin is another solicitor who has taken up the option of a more flexible workplace arrangement. Angela, a solicitor in the Principal Prosecutions Directorate, works from home one day a week. Angela has a small child and says that “without the flexibility provided by the OPP, I would not be able to work

Kay Idda Human Resources Project Officer Kay Idda has only been with the OPP for a year but says that “the last 12 months have been challenging and exciting at the same time”. While Kay has worked for a number of government agencies, she has found it “particularly rewarding working at the OPP under a leadership that is prepared to embrace change and move things forward”. Kay’s position of Human Resources Project Officer means that since arriving at the OPP, she has been responsible for coordinating and implementing the human resources aspects of the major reorganisation underway within the office. “There have been significant changes in the office structure – and major change like this is always hard,” says Kay. “But in my view, it is change for the good and it will help to develop the OPP into a modern legal practice that can provide leadership in areas of law reform and legal policy, as well as continuing to deliver excellence in our core business of prosecutions.” Having previously worked at the Magistrates’ Court, the County Court and the Supreme Court, Kay is very accustomed to working within the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Kay worked in human resources with a Registered Training Organisation after completing a Diploma of Business at Victoria University. “I am passionate about HR and I am passionate about this organisation,” Kay says. “It’s also important for me to be working on issues which make a difference to society and to contribute to and be part of that change.” Kay believes that the reorganisation of the OPP will result in a more transparent and accountable structure that splits management and legal expertise roles within the office into two distinct areas. This new structure “makes the best use of people’s skill sets by allowing those who manage to manage and those who provide legal expertise to do so – both internally and externally to other stakeholders within the criminal justice system,” says Kay. “It also increases the ability of the OPP’s human resources section to support and assist the operations and day-to-day running of the central legal functions of this office.” 54 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

Kay would like to continue working at the OPP “for as long as they will have me”. She adds: “In the last year, I think I have grown and developed both professionally and personally. It has been a great experience and I would like to be involved in the future directions of the OPP in the years to come.”


full time”. In the past, with child-care placements difficult to obtain, Angela has been forced to work part time. Angela has previously worked in private practice where she has found work conditions to be less progressive than at the OPP, with much less support for flexibility or for achieving a worklife balance. “The OPP really is family friendly,” she says, “and that was certainly not the case in private legal practice.” Angela believes that everyone benefits from more flexible working arrangements: “Working from home enables me to do my work, the office gets the advantage of an additional day’s work

capacity out of me and it also allows me to spend more time with my son.” INCREASED RESOURCES AND A NEW OFFICE IN GEELONG The Victorian Government provided a further increase in funding for the OPP in the 2008/09 State Budget, with the office’s operational budget increasing by around $3.5 million in the 2008/09 financial year. The office also received $1.5 million in additional capital funding. These additional resources include specific funding to establish the OPP’s first permanent regional office in Geelong. The OPP has commenced planning for the

new office, which will focus on prosecuting serious sex offences in Victoria’s western region. The office will be located in the new Transport Accident Commission facility and is expected to open in 2009. The OPP is also significantly upgrading its facilities within the Geelong court complex, working with court staff to improve IT connectivity, security and reprographic capacity, and to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety and disability access regulations. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE The OPP continued to upgrade its corporate governance framework,

MOVING WITH THE TIMES: THE OPP LIBRARY As the nature of prosecuting has changed, so too have the demands on the Office of Public Prosecutions’ library. As well as keeping up with the expanding range of matters being prosecuted, the library faces new challenges in managing advances in the use of information and communications technologies. Library Manager Adriaan Bendeler notes that, while continuing to provide specialist legal information and reference materials to assist the DPP, Crown Prosecutors and OPP staff, the library’s resources now include both print and digital materials that can be accessed from the library directly or via online intranet facilities – a development that has broadened the library’s range of resources and boosted its capacity to provide accurate, current information. Adriaan joined the OPP in 1990, after working in senior roles at the Box Hill Regional Library and RMIT and Swinburne libraries, and points out that the changes over the years have included improvements in the library’s physical facilities, as well as a much greater use of electronic resources. “When I first came to the OPP there was no real library to speak of – the office was split between two buildings and each of those buildings contained very small reference libraries with little coordination between them and much doubling up of material,” says Adriaan. “So you can certainly say that we have come a long way since those days.” Since joining the OPP, Adriaan has been closely involved in many of the major changes that have taken place across the office. In 1995, the OPP commenced operation of its first PC network, with internet and intranet facilities being introduced in 1998. “For the very first time, this allowed us to develop online research tools and to subscribe to online legal information resources,” says Adriaan. Recognising the growing demands on the library, the OPP recently employed a second senior librarian, Tracey Archer. Tracey came to the OPP following four years with the Victoria Police Forensic Services and is very familiar with operating within a legal framework. Tracey has been impressed with the dedication of the OPP staff and the important role the office plays within the Victorian community.

“It has been a challenge coming to a different specialist library, but I like new challenges,” says Tracey. “So far, it has been a very rewarding experience. Whatever I’m doing, whether it is fielding enquiries, cataloging, maintaining the unreported judgments database or researching the history of specific legislation, it’s very satisfying to feel that you are in the middle of something important.” Adriaan and Tracey see the central role of the library as supporting the legal expertise of the OPP’s legal and management staff. “We assist and direct people to the relevant legal information, whether that’s online resource material, relevant legislation, loose-leaf services or law reports,” says Adriaan. “It’s about getting at the law – knowing what is available and where to look.” With much legal publishing now in digital format, the library continues to expand its online legal resources. As OPP staff become more comfortable and conversant with the online services and electronic information available, more information will be provided in this manner. Future challenges include the planning and implementation of an online virtual archive and the expansion of what Adriaan calls “an in-house online portal”, which will further improve access to electronic resource material. The library’s resources must also reflect the increasingly varied matters being prosecuted. Adriaan and Tracey are very aware of these challenges, but are confident they can stay “one step ahead” in locating and providing legal information. “The central role of this office is prosecuting. In order to do this in a professional and productive manner, the OPP prosecutors and legal staff require accurate, relevant and up-to-date legal resource material,” says Adriaan. “That is what we aim to provide at the OPP library and that’s where our efforts and resources will continue to be directed.”

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 55


BUILDING A DISTINCTIVE, HIGH-PERFORMING PROSECUTION PRACTICE

including: • developing a Legal Risks Register, which outlines major potential risks for the OPP in the legal and corporate areas and outlines risk management strategies • conducting an internal audit of the office’s Risk Management Framework to ensure compliance with relevant standards and legislation • continuing to review and improve the accuracy, collection and analysis of statistics relating to the office’s legal practice. PROJECTS AND PERFORMANCE UNIT During the year, a new Projects and Performance Unit was created within the

OPP. The Unit’s responsibilities include: • assisting other sections of the OPP to develop and manage specific projects (including creating mechanisms to collect and analyse data, establishing new policies and procedures, and setting and monitoring performance targets) • compiling business cases and bids for funding for projects • assisting other sections to audit or review projects and processes • supporting other sections to identify and set key performance indicators to monitor and improve performance • reviewing areas of high risk and

Frank Mattea Assistant to the Manager Learning and Development Having been with the OPP for 16 years, Frank Mattea brings extensive knowledge and experience to his present position with the office’s learning and development section. Frank’s background is almost certainly unique within the OPP, having trained as a physicist and then teaching for some years before moving into information technology (IT) and coming to work at the office in 1992. 56 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

identifying initiatives or projects to minimise risk • ensuring consistency in administrative processes, management policies and procedures, and monitoring and measurement practices across projects managed by the OPP. The Unit is also responsible for strategic planning processes within the OPP and for reporting on the office’s performance. COMMUNICATIONS Recognising the increased media and public scrutiny to which the DPP and the OPP are now subject, the office significantly enhanced its communications capability

Frank sees his primary responsibility as supporting the OPP’s solicitors to prosecute in court and says that he is often “the first port of call” when there are problems to be solved. “My day-to-day tasks are varied in nature to say the least,” Frank says. In 2007/08, he was responsible for running the OPP’s Articled Clerk Induction Course and monitoring the performance of the new articled clerks as they rotated through different sections within the office. Due to a temporary vacancy, he also acted as manager of the learning and development section for the greater part of the last financial year. Within the course of a day, Frank will often find himself organising and coordinating a legal education seminar, creating presentment documents for court, dealing with an IT query or computer interface problem, interpreting spreadsheets for Victoria Police or producing a PowerPoint presentation for use in court or within an education workshop. Frank also organises tours of other agencies within the justice system for articled clerks and interested staff members. The ongoing legal education and staff training within the OPP requires constant focus, organisation and time, and Frank expects this component of his work to continue to grow in the future. While the diversity of Frank’s work can be testing at times, he’s sure of one thing: it’s never dull. “Sometimes, it can be a challenge keeping your head above water,” he says, “but it is rarely boring in here. Whatever the problem, you just have to deal with it and resolve it. There’s no point in resisting a tsunami – you just have to get on your surfboard and go with it. Of course, there is one tiny problem with the tsunami-surfing metaphor – I can’t swim.”


and activities in 2007/08, including the appointment of a Senior Communications Adviser reporting directly to the Solicitor. The OPP website was extensively upgraded, including making available online for the first time information about the processes involved in decisions made by the DPP and the OPP. The office also improved its internal communications, including the production of a regular HR Newsletter (which includes information about recruitment, OH&S issues and other HR matters) and Team Brief newsletter (which keeps staff informed about performance, legal policy and process developments within the office).

A BETTER WORK ENVIRONMENT The OPP continued to improve the physical working environment for staff and ensure that they have access to the equipment needed to meet their responsibilities. Activities in 2007/08 included: • upgrading security within the Bourke Street premises to make them more “user friendly” and to ensure staff safety • installing video conferencing and meeting room facilities on the ground floor in the Lonsdale Street premises • implementing the Office Max stationery ordering system, which allows automatic streamlining of office stationery requirements. This upgrade also involved

Adriana Civitella Manager – Operations Briefings Services For Adriana Civitella, one of the most enjoyable aspects of her work as Manager Briefing Operations is dealing with a wide range of people and issues on a daily basis. “I work with a lot of people from within the OPP and externally every day,” she says. “So it means there is tremendous variety in both the content of my work and in the kinds of people I work with.” Having been at the OPP for 20 years and worked in a number of positions, Adriana has seen a lot of changes. “When I first arrived here the office operated in a less systemic

the installation of stationery cupboards on each floor of the office • upgrading kitchenette facilities on each floor and installing new, more waterefficient dishwashers • continuing to progressively convert the OPP fleet to more fuel efficient four-cylinder vehicles and install gas conversions on a number of cars •upgrading facilities in the OPP’s Audio Visual Unit, including a new seminar room and increased office space for additional staff. The office also employed an IT manager to organise the OPP’s use of a number of existing Department of Justice IT systems,

way,” she says. “Many of the improvements over the years have been due to changes in technology but the office has also progressively become more professional over the years.” Adriana and her section are responsible for ensuring that there is a barrister (either from Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers or from the private Bar) or an OPP advocate at every court hearing when required. “It is a very important part of the office,” she says. “If we miss something, there are serious consequences. Sometimes the listing of a case may change with very short notice and we just have to find a solution, no matter what.” A central part of Adriana’s position is her role with the Counsel Advisory Group, which allocates the more complex cases to counsel. In these matters, it is especially important to achieve an appropriate match between the prosecutor or barrister and the particular trial in question. Adriana observes that matching these cases with the relevant expertise and experience of counsel “requires a knowledge of the people concerned and the matter at hand – things that you build up over many years”. She adds: “At the same time, we also have to focus on succession planning when allocating matters to the junior Bar – making sure that we have young barristers coming through who understand our requirements. So there’s quite a bit to think about.” Adriana believes that the reorganisation of the office will contribute to a more uniform and more efficient system by which cases are allocated. “It has already assisted in making the operations of the office more productive, more professional and more transparent,” she says. “With the office now having implemented a structure that meets the requirements of a modern briefing service, it sets the OPP up well for the future.” OPP Annual Report 2007/08 57


BUILDING A DISTINCTIVE, HIGH-PERFORMING PROSECUTION PRACTICE

improve efficiencies and create a more productive IT interaction between the two organisations. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY In recent years, the OPP has made significant efforts to improve occupational health and safety within the office. In 2007/08, the office: • established a Health and Wellbeing Program, recognising the stressful nature of work undertaken by many staff within the office; this program includes a number of services delivered by a private provider, including workplace visits to

58 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

enable staff to discuss issues of concern, group or individual debriefings and individual staff counselling • audited the OPP’s premises for compliance with relevant building-based safety measures and OH&S standards, including a review of all fire/emergency facilities in both buildings • restructured and re-established the OPP’s OH&S Committee to ensure that office OH&S standards continue to meet the highest industry standards • completed a major review of workloads. Carried out by an independent consultant, the review recommended that the office take steps to improve

the physical infrastructure of the office and address the resourcing of the OPP in critical areas; improve work systems so that resources are optimally applied; and develop an appropriate professional development program. The OPP is implementing a number of the review’s recommendations. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND C.L.E During the year, the OPP upgraded its capacity to deliver a high quality professional development program to staff by appointing a Manager of Learning and Development.


The OPP provided a variety of professional development, training and education opportunities for staff. The Continuing Legal Education program included workshops and presentations by senior OPP staff and speakers from external organisations, including the private Bar, Victoria Police, the Department of Justice and the courts. Induction sessions were conducted for newly appointed staff and a number of learning and development initiatives were developed to support newly appointed Directorate Managers and Legal Prosecution Specialists. Training sessions were conducted to inform managers

within the office about the OPP’s Performance Management system and help them to develop the skills needed to support the system. ARTICLED CLERKSHIP PROGRAM In 2007/08, the OPP again offered a comprehensive Articled Clerkship Program. In 2008, five law graduates completed their articles and were offered ongoing employment with the OPP. Nine new clerks commenced their articles in March 2008. In 2009, Victoria will replace the current articles system with a new 12-month Supervised Workplace

Training (Traineeship) placement, which includes prescribed minimum training requirements. The OPP will offer a 12month Legal Traineeship Program to law graduates in 2009. ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE: TRANSFORMING PROSECUTIONS PRACTICE While protesters arrested at the G20 Summit demonstrations in Melbourne in November 2006 probably knew they were being filmed by TV news cameras, few would have thought that sophisticated audio-visual evidence would be used to secure their convictions two years later. But

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 59


BUILDING A DISTINCTIVE, HIGH-PERFORMING PROSECUTION PRACTICE

the OPP’s successful use in the G20 case of a motion-tracking system to prepare DVD evidence for the court is just one example of how advanced audio-visual technology is changing the way evidence is gathered, analysed and presented in the criminal justice system. While audio recordings have long been used in courtrooms, criminal justice systems around the world are now dealing with a growing range of audio, image and visual evidence being generated from a number of sources. On a daily basis, crimes ranging from theft and assault to homicide are being captured by audiovisual devices – from mobile phones and telecommunications recording services (such as voice mail) through to web cams and security cameras in public places and private venues. As well as recording criminal acts, audio-visual technologies are also driving change in the daily operation of Victoria’s courts. Increasingly, video conferencing is being used to provide testimony by victims (particularly children) and by witnesses (such as protected witnesses, expert witnesses and interstate or international witnesses). More sophisticated systems are now needed in courtrooms to ensure the accurate reproduction of electronic evidence. In addition, as audio-visual evidence becomes more common, it is more likely to be challenged or subject to examination by experts – requiring prosecutors to have a greater knowledge of audio-visual technologies and systems. These technologies have the potential to transform many aspects of prosecuting – and the OPP recognises that being a leader in prosecutions practice means staying at the forefront of these developments. At a technical level, this means maintaining a

60 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

high standard in all aspects of managing and presenting audio-visual evidence, including the enhancement of evidence through techniques such as audio filtering and motion-tracking. In 2007/08 the OPP’s successful submission to the Victorian Government resulted in additional funding of $1.3 million in the coming financial year and $400,000 on an ongoing basis to upgrade audio-visual facilities within the office. For Rod Hume, Manager of the OPP Audio Visual Unit, this is “great news for audio-visual productions within the OPP, great news for the OPP generally and great news for the criminal justice system in Victoria”. As Rod notes: “Technology is changing rapidly in the legal justice system in Victoria and we have to keep up with those changes. The additional funds we’ve received from the government mean that the OPP will stay ahead of the game, resulting in much clearer and stronger evidence presented to juries by prosecutors.” Victoria Police also received funding from the Victorian Government to convert old and outmoded analogue equipment to state-of-the-art digital facilities. This will allow the police to produce clearer, more accurate and more useful audio-visual evidence than was possible previously. It will also result in a larger workload for the OPP Audio Visual Unit. “This technical change alone has tripled our work load in transferring this data to a court presentable format,” says Rod. “Fortunately, our additional funding this coming year will enable us to purchase the AVID Unity ISIS media network system – and this latest technology will singlehandedly address a number of these issues.” The additional funding will also allow

the Unit to allocate more resources and staff hours to working on the dramatic increase in the use of CCTV (closed circuit television) in evidence against accused persons. “In a visual world, more enterprises are using CCTV to monitor both public and private areas under their domain – and this has resulted in the legal justice system using this technology more and more as evidence in court,” says Rod. “It’s our job in this Unit to make that evidence usable in court presentations. Clearer evidence assists clearer legal arguments in court – and that potentially can result in more successful prosecutions.” The clarity of audio-visual evidence was certainly an important element in the G20 prosecutions. Crown Prosecutor Chris Beale says that the motion-tracking system used by the OPP enabled a much clearer identification of those charged with offences: “From hundreds of hours of TV footage, the OPP’s Audio Visual Unit was able to track each accused person and put together a ‘best of’ DVD, showing very clearly where each person was and what they were doing at various points in the riot. “Being able to present that very clear evidence had a substantial input into securing guilty pleas from a significant number of defendants. I used the DVD in my closing address during the committal hearing and we also tendered the raw footage as evidence.” Chris notes that the availability of the DVD evidence was appreciated by the magistrate hearing the case. “The magistrate set aside two days to watch the DVDs and she gave a ringing endorsement of them, saying they were very helpful without compromising her independence.”


ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

61


REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS The Committee for Public Prosecutions is a committee established by section 42 of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 (the Act). The Committee provides general advice on the operation of the prosecutorial system and also has a number of specific functions as outlined in the Act. The specific functions include the establishment of various guidelines. These comprise guidelines relating to appearance work by Office of Public Prosecutions staff, guidelines on the treatment of victims of crime by the prosecutorial system, and guidelines on the circumstances under which some decisions are not to be considered “special decisions” under the Act. As at 30 June 2008, the Committee members were: • Jeremy Rapke QC – Director of Public Prosecutions (Chairperson) • Gavin Silbert SC – Chief Crown Prosecutor • Stuart Ward – Acting Solicitor for Public Prosecutions • Colleen Pearce – a person appointed by the Governor in Council and Victoria’s Public Advocate. The Committee met three times during the reporting period and discussed the development of the guidelines noted above. On 28 April 2008 the Committee for Public Prosecutions issued two new

62 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

guidelines pursuant to its powers under section 43(1)(d) and (e) of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994. In relation to appearance work by OPP staff, the Committee issued guidelines on the circumstances in which members of staff employed in the Office of Public Prosecutions may appear in court. The guidelines allow solicitors who have not completed the Office of Public Prosecutions Advocacy Training Course, or equivalent, to appear in court in circumstances which otherwise would be in breach of the guidelines, where they satisfy the Director that they are suitably qualified. The Committee also amended the guideline affecting when the decision to enter a nolle prosequi, or not take steps under section 353(2) of the Crimes Act 1958, is to be treated as a special decision. Under the new guideline, a decision to enter a nolle prosequi or not take steps will only be a special decision in the following three circumstances: 1. The decision is in relation to an offence with a prescribed Level 1 penalty (life imprisonment). 2. The decision is in relation to a matter of high public profile or notoriety. 3. The decision is one which, for any other reason, the Director believes should be a special decision. In practice, the new guideline should

reduce the number of nolle prosequi applications that fall within the definition of a special decision. In the coming year, the Committee intends to develop guidelines and protocols regarding the giving of advice by Office of Public Prosecutions staff to external agencies. The Committee will continue to review the guidelines regarding victims of crime. The Committee will also investigate the need to develop guidelines in relation to the delays in drug cases. JEREMY RAPKE QC Director of Public Prosecutions STUART WARD Acting Solicitor for Public Prosecutions GAVIN SILBERT SC Chief Crown Prosecutor COLLEEN PEARCE Appointed by the Governor in Council This report comprises the 2007/08 Annual Report of the Committee for Public Prosecutions in accordance with section 45 of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994.


FINANCIAL REPORT CONTENTS Accountable Officer’s Declaration

64

Summary Of Financial Performance

64

Operating Statement

65

Balance Sheet

66

Statement of Changes in Equity

67

Cash Flow Statement

67

Notes to the financial statements Note 1 Summary of accounting policies

68

Note 2 Output of the Office

71

Note 3 Net result from operations

71

Note 4 Remuneration of auditors

72

Note 5 Receivables

72

Note 6 Property, plant and equipment

73

Note 7 Payables and accruals

75

Note 8 Interest bearing liabilities

75

Note 9 Provisions

76

Note 10 Superannuation

77

Note 11 Equity and movements in equity

78

Note 12 Commitments for expenditure

78

Note 13 Contingent liabilities and contingent assets

78

Note 14 Leases

79

Note 15 Responsible persons

80

Note 16 Remuneration of executives

81

Note 17 Notes to cash flow statement

81

Note 18 Financial instruments

82

Accountable Officer’s and Chief Finance and Accounting Officer’s Declaration

85

Auditor General’s Report

86

Attestation on compliance with the Australian/New Zealand Risk Management Standard

88

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 63


OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS FINANCIAL REPORT For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

ACCOUNTABLE OFFICER’S DECLARATION In accordance with the Financial Management Act 1994, I am pleased to present the Report of Operations for the Office of Public Prosecutions for the year ending 30 June 2008.

Stuart Ward Acting Solicitor Office of Public Prosecutions Melbourne 12th September 2008

SUMMARY OF FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE A summary of the Office of Public Prosecution’s financial performance in 2007/08 is set out below. Full financial details for 2007/08 are outlined in the Financial Section of this report.

Breakdowns of revenue and expenditure are set out below.

During the financial year ended 30 June 2008, total revenue was $46.754 million and total expenses were $46.717 million resulting in an operating surplus of $37,000. Revenue increased from last year by $6.62 million (16.5%) to $46.75 million and was closely matched by an increase in expenses of $6.59 million (16.4%).

Total assets increased by $869,000 to $7.230 million due primarily to increases in receivables and plant and equipment. Total liabilities have increased from last year by $684,000 due to an increase in provisions for employee entitlements.

Compared to last year, net cash flows from operating activities increased by $243,000 to $515,000.

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

2006 $’000

2005 $’000

2004 $’000

Total revenue

46,754

40,138

34,841

29,948

24,979

Total expenses

46,717

40,128

34,807

31,309

27,659

37

10

34

(1,361)

(2,680)

Net result for year Net cash flows from operating activities Total assets Total liabilities

Office of Public Prosecutions 2007-08 Total Revenue

515

272

323

299

378

7,230

6,361

3,546

3,427

3,710

10,737

10,053

7,349

7,152

6,428

Office of Public Prosecutions 2007-08 Total Expenses DEPRECIATION AND AMORTISATION 1% WITNESS EXPENSES 1% OFFICE EXPENSES 5% OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES 2%

CORE FUNDING 94% PROPERTY RENT AND MAINTENANCE 5% TIED FUNDING 6% PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 27%

EMPLOYE RELATED EXPENSES 59%

64 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS FINANCIAL REPORT For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

OPERATING STATEMENT For the financial year ended 30 June 2008 Note

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

3(a)

46,754

40,138

46,754

40,138

(27,345)

(22,733)

Income Government Grants Total income Expenses Employee benefits

3(b)

Depreciation and amortisation

3(c)

(453)

(445)

Supplies and services

3(d)

(18,874)

(16,911)

(45)

(39)

Finance costs

(46,717)

(40,128)

Net result from continuing operations

37

10

Net result for the period

37

10

Total expenses

The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 65


OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS FINANCIAL REPORT For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

BALANCE SHEET As at 30 June 2008 Note

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

Current assets Cash and cash equivalents Receivables

17

73

72

5

3,129

2,598

3,202

2,670

Plant and equipment held for sale

46

17

3,248

2,687

5

815

633

6,1(j)

3,167

3,041

Total non-current assets

3,982

3,674

Total assets

7,230

6,361

7

2,967

3,117

8,14

325

367

6,147

5,570

40

25

9,479

9,079

8,14

443

341

9

815

633

1,258

974

Total liabilities

10,737

10,053

Net assets

(3,507)

(3,692)

Total current assets Non-current assets Receivables Property, plant & equipment

Current liabilities Payables Interest bearing liabilities Provisions

9

Other Total current liabilities Non-current liabilities Interest bearing liabilities Provisions Total non-current liabilities

Equity Contributed capital

11

2,105

1,957

Reserves

11

240

240

11,1(j)

(5,852)

(5,889)

(3,507)

(3,692)

Accumulated surplus(deficit) Total equity Commitments for expenditure

12

Contingent liabilities and contingent assets

13

The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements

66 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS FINANCIAL REPORT For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY For the financial year ended 30 June 2008 Note Total equity at beginning of financial year Effects of change in capitalisation threshold policy Gain/(loss) on property revaluation

11 (a)

Net income recognised directly in equity Net result for the period

11 (c)

Total recognised income and expense for the period

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

(3,692)

(3,803)

0

(296)

0

0

0

0

37

10

37

10

Transactions with the State in its capacity as owner

11 (b)

171

406

Equity transfers within Government

11 (b)

(23)

(9)

(3,507)

(3,692)

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

Receipts from Government

46,038

37,516

Total receipts

46,038

37,516

(45,626)

(37,602)

Total equity at end of financial year The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements

CASH FLOW STATEMENT For the financial year ended 30 June 2008 Note Cash flows from operating activities Receipts

Payments Payments to suppliers and employees Interest and other costs of finance paid

(45)

(39)

(45,671)

(37,641)

367

(125)

Payments for property, plant and equipment

(373)

(154)

Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities

(373)

(154)

148

397

(141)

(117)

7

280

Total payments Net cash provided by/ (used in) operating activities

17 (b)

Cash flows from investing activities

Cash flows from financing activities Proceeds from capital contributions by State Government Repayment of finance lease Net cash provided by/(used in) financing activities Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the financial year Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the financial year

17 (a)

1

1

72

71

73

72

The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements OPP Annual Report 2007/08 67


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 1. SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES Statement of compliance The financial report is a general purpose financial report which has been prepared on an accrual basis in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1994, applicable Australian Accounting Standards (AAS), which includes the Australian accounting standards issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB), Interpretations and other mandatory professional requirements. The financial report also complies with relevant Financial Reporting Directions (FRDs) issued by the Department of Treasury and Finance, and relevant Standing Directions (SD) authorised by the Minister for Finance. Basis of preparation The financial report has been prepared on the basis of historical cost, except for the revaluation of certain non-current assets and financial instruments. Cost is based on the fair values of the consideration given in exchange for assets. In the application of AASs, management is required to make judgements, estimates and assumptions about carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. The estimates and associated assumptions are based on historical experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis of making judgements. Actual results may differ from these estimates. The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised if the revision affects only that period or in the period of the revision and future periods if the revision affects both current and future periods. Accounting policies are selected and applied in a manner which ensures that the resulting financial information satisfies the concepts of relevance and reliability, thereby ensuring that the substance of the underlying transactions or other events is reported. The accounting policies set out below have been applied in preparing the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2008 and the comparative information presented in the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2007. (a) Reporting entity The financial report covers the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) as an individual reporting entity. All funds through which the Office controls resources to carry on its functions have been included in this financial report. The OPP is the independent statutory authority responsible for preparing and conducting criminal prosecutions in Victoria on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). (b) Objectives and funding The Office’s objectives are to conduct an effective, economical and efficient prosecution service as an integral part of the criminal justice system. The service provided by OPP must meet community expectations of fairness, impartiality and independence in the application of criminal law. The Office is predominantly funded by grants from the Department of Justice. 68 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

(c) Goods and services tax Revenues, expenses and assets are recognised net of the amount of goods and services tax (GST). The Department of Justice manages the GST transactions on behalf of OPP, the GST components of OPP’s receipts and / or payments are recognised in the Department’s financial statements. (d) Revenue recognition Amounts disclosed as revenue are, where applicable, net of returns, allowances, duties and taxes. Revenue from the outputs the Office provides to Government is recognised when those outputs have been delivered and the relevant Minister has certified delivery of those outputs in accordance with specified performance criteria. (e) Resources provided and received free of charge or for nominal consideration Contributions of resources and resources provided free of charge or for nominal consideration are recognised at their fair value. Contributions in the form of services are only recognised when a fair value can be reliably determined and the service would have been purchased if not donated. (f) Employee benefits expense Employee benefits expense include all costs related to employment including wages and salaries, leave entitlements, redundancy payments and superannuation contributions. These are recognised when incurred, except for contributions in respect of defined benefit plans. Superannuation Defined Contribution plans Contributions to defined contribution superannuation plans are expensed when incurred. Defined benefit plans The amount charged to the operating statement in respect of defined benefit superannuation plan represents the contribution made by the Office to the superannuation plan in respect to the current services of current Office staff. Superannuation contributions are made to the plans based on the relevant rules of each plan. The Office does not recognise any defined benefit liability in respect of the superannuation plan because the Office has no legal or constructive obligation to pay future benefits relating to employees; its only obligation is to pay superannuation contributions as they fall due. The Department of Treasury and Finance administers and discloses the State’s defined benefit liabilities in its financial report. (g) Depreciation Depreciation is provided on property, plant and equipment, including freehold buildings but excluding land. Depreciation is generally calculated on a straight-line basis so as to write off the net cost or other revalued amount of each asset over its expected useful life to its estimated residual value. Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the period of the lease or estimated useful life, whichever is the shorter, using the straight-line method. The estimated useful lives, residual values and depreciation method are reviewed at the end of each annual reporting period.


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

The following estimated useful lives are used in the calculation of depreciation:

Plant & Equipment Leasehold Improvements

2008

2007

5 - 15 Years

5 - 15 Years

10 Years

10 Years

(h) Borrowing costs Borrowing costs are recognised as expenses in the period in which they are incurred, and include interest on finance lease charges. (i) Supplies and services Supplies and services generally represent day to day running costs, including maintenance costs, incurred in the normal operations of the Office. These items are recognised as an expense in the reporting period in which they are incurred. (j) Non-current assets All non-current assets controlled by the Office are reported in the balance sheet. Change in accounting policy: The OPP has adopted a capitalisation policy for fixed assets for capital purchase in excess of $5,000 (2007, $1,000). The change has been applied retrospectively and comparative information in relation to 2007 financial year has been restated accordingly. Due to the immaterial impact on the Operating Statement, no retrospective changes have been applied to the affected Operating Statement line items but the total balance has been adjusted to accumulated surplus. The following table shows how the change in asset capitalisation threshold impacted comparative balances: 30-Jun-07

Increase / (Decrease)

2007 Restated

Balance Sheet (extract)

$’000

$’000

$’000

Property, plant and equipment

3,337

(296)

3,041

Total assets

6,657

(296)

6,361

Accumulated surplus /(deficit)

(5,593)

(296)

(5,889)

Total equity

(3,396)

(296)

(3,692)

(k) Cash and cash equivalents Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash on hand and cash at bank. (l) Receivables All debtors are recognised at the amounts receivable as they are due for settlement at no more than 30 days from the date of recognition. Collectability of debtors is reviewed on an ongoing basis. A provision for doubtful debts is raised when some doubt as to collection exists. Debts which are known to be uncollectible are written off. (m) Non-current physical assets Land and buildings are measured at fair value. Plant, equipment and vehicles are measured at cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment. Crown land is measured at fair value with regard to the property’s highest and best use after due consideration is made for any

legal or constructive restrictions imposed on the land, public announcements or commitments made in relation to the intended use of the land. Theoretical opportunities that may be available in relation to the asset are not taken into account until it is virtually certain that the restrictions will no longer apply. During the reporting period, the Office may hold cultural assets, heritage assets, Crown land and infrastructures. Such assets are deemed worthy of preservation because of the social rather than financial benefits they provide the community. The nature of these assets means that there are certain limitations and restrictions imposed on their use and/or disposal. (n) Revaluations of non-current assets Non-current physical assets measured at fair value are revalued in accordance with FRD 103C based on the asset’s Government purpose classification. Revaluation increments are credited directly to equity in the revaluation reserve, except that, to the extent that an increment reverses a revaluation decrement in respect of that class of asset previously recognised as an expense in the net result, the increment is recognised as income in determining the net result. Revaluation decrements are recognised immediately as expenses in the net result, except that, to the extent that a credit balance exists in the revaluation reserve in respect of the same class of assets, they are debited to the revaluation reserve. Revaluation increases and revaluation decreases relating to individual assets within a class of property, plant and equipment are offset against one another within that class but are not offset in respect of assets in different classes. Revaluation reserves are not normally transferred to accumulated surplus on de-recognition of the relevant assets (o) Non-current assets classified as held for sale Non-current assets classified as held for sale are measured at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell, and are not subject to depreciation. Non-current assets and disposal groups are classified as held for sale if their carrying amount will be recovered through a sale transaction rather than through continuing use. This condition is regarded as met only when the sale is highly probable and the asset’s sale is expected to be completed within one year from the date of classification. (p) Interest bearing liabilities Interest bearing liabilities are recorded initially at fair value, net of transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition, interest bearing liabilities are measured at amortised cost with any difference between the initial recognised amount and the redemption value being recognised in profit and loss over the period of the interest bearing liability using the effective interest rate method. (q) Contributions by owners Additions to net assets that have been designated as contributions by owners are recognised as contributed capital. Other transfers that are in the nature of contributions or distributions have also been designated as contributions by owners. (r) Leased assets Leases are classified as finance leases whenever the terms of the OPP Annual Report 2007/08 69


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

lease transfer substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership to the lessee. All other leases are classified as operating leases. Assets held under finance leases are recognised as assets of the Office at their fair value or, if lower, at the present value of the minimum lease payments, each determined at the inception of the lease. The corresponding liability to the lessor is included in the balance sheet as a finance lease obligation. Lease payments are apportioned between finance charges and reduction of the lease obligation so as to achieve a constant rate of interest on the remaining balance of the liability. Finance charges are charged directly against income. Finance lease assets are amortised on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the asset. Operating lease payments are recognised as an expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term, except where another systematic basis is more representative of the time pattern in which economic benefits from the leased asset are consumed.

Employee benefits on-costs Employee benefits on-costs (payroll tax, workers compensation, superannuation, annual leave and LSL accrued while on LSL taken in service) are recognised separately from provision for employee benefits. (u) Commitments Commitments include those operating, capital and other outsourcing commitments arising from non-cancellable contractual or statutory sources and are disclosed at their nominal value. (v) Contingent assets and contingent liabilities Contingent assets and contingent liabilities are not recognised in the balance sheet , but are disclosed by way of a note and, if quantifiable, are measured at nominal value. (w) Rounding of amounts Amounts in the financial report have been rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, or in other cases, to the nearest dollar.

(s) Payables Payables are recognised when the Office becomes obliged to make payments resulting from purchase of goods and services.

(x) Comparative information Where necessary the figures of the previous year have been reclassified to facilitate comparison.

(t) Provisions

(y) New accounting standards and interpretations

Employee benefits (i) Wages and salaries, annual leave and sick leave Liabilities for wages and salaries, including non-monetary benefits, annual leave and accumulating sick leave expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date are recognised in the provision for employee benefits in respect of employee services up to the reporting date, classified as current liabilities and measured at their nominal values. Those liabilities that are not expected to be settled within 12 months are recognised in the provision for employee benefits as current liabilities, measured at present value of the amounts expected to be paid when the liabilities are settled using the remuneration rate expected to apply at the time of settlement. (ii) Long service leave Liability for long service leave (LSL) is recognised in the provision for employee benefits. Current liability - unconditional LSL (representing 7 or more years of continuous service for all staff) is disclosed as a current liability even where the Office does not expect to settle the liability within 12 months because it will not have the unconditional right to defer the settlement of the entitlement should an employee take leave within 12 months: The components of this current LSL liability are measured at : - present value - component that the Office does not expect to settle within 12 months - nominal value - component that the Office expects to settle within 12 months Non-current liability - conditional LSL (representing less than 7 years of continuous service for all staff) is disclosed as a non-current liability. There is an unconditional right to defer the settlement of the entitlement until the employee has completed the requisite years of service. This non-current LSL liability is measured at present value. 70 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

Standard / Interpretation

Summary

Applicable for annual reporting periods beginning or ending on

Impact on OPP financial statements

AASB 2007-3 Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards arising from AASB8 [AASB5, AASB6, AASB102, AASB107, AASB119, AASB127, AASB134, AASB136, AASB1023 and AASB1038)

An accompanying amending standard, also introduced consequential amendments into other standards

Beginning 1 Jan 2009

Impact expected to be insignificant

AASB 2007-8

Editorial amendments to Australian Accounting Standards to align with IFRS terminology

Beginning 1 Jan 2009

Impact expected to be insignificant

Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards arising from AASB101

(z) Prospective accounting changes GAAP-GFS Convergence The AASB has recently approved AASB 1049 Whole of Government and General Government Sector Financial Reporting, which will apply to future financial reports of the Victorian general government sector. In October 2007, the AASB extended AASB 1049 to also apply to financial reports of the Whole of Government economic entity. The standard, which will be applicable for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 July 2008, converges Australian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Government Finance Statistics (GFS) reporting. It also includes additional disclosure requirements. The effect of any changes to recognition or measurement requirements as a result of this new standard is being evaluated.


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 2. OUTPUT OF THE OFFICE Description of output group: The number of briefs prepared for hearings and the attendance at hearings on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Outcome expected: An effective, economical and efficient prosecution service which is an integral part of the criminal justice system. As there is only one output group within the Office, related revenue and expenditure is outlined in the Operating Statement.

NOTE 3. NET RESULT FROM OPERATIONS 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

46,754

40,138

46,754

40,138

Salary and wages

20,484

16,829

Superannuation

1,893

1,487

Annual leave and long services leave expense

3,181

2,594

Other on-costs (fringe benefits tax, payroll tax and workcover levy)

1,787

1,823

27,345

22,733

Depreciation of non-current assets

89

148

Amortisation of non-current assets

364

297

453

445

13,295

11,863

2,330

2,069

Information technology

531

354

Printing, stationery & library expenses

769

717

Postage, communication & office expenses

716

717

Interpreters

298

290

Other operating expenses

919

886

16

15

18,874

16,911

45

39

46,717

40,128

Income (a) Income from Government Grants for continuing operations Expenses (b) Employee benefit expense

(c) Depreciation and amortisation expense

(d) Supplies and Services Professional services and witness payments Rent and property

Audit Services (e) Finance costs Total expense

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 71


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 4. REMUNERATION OF AUDITORS 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

16

15

16

15

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

44

39

(37)

(29)

Amounts owing from Department of Justice

3,122

2,588

Aggregate carrying amount of receivables

3,129

2,598

Amounts owing from Department of Justice

815

633

Aggregate carrying amount of receivables

815

633

Victorian Auditor General’s Office Audit of the financial report

NOTE 5. RECEIVABLES

Current Debtors Allowance for doubtful debts

Non-current

72 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 6. PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT Classification by Purpose Groups - Carrying amounts

Public Safety and Environment 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

740

740

740

740

2,277

2,249

(1,045)

(833)

1,232

1,416

1,972

2,156

820

408

(301)

(225)

519

183

Nature-based Classification : Land at fair value *

Leasehold improvements at cost Less: Accumulated amortisation

Total land and leasehold improvements Plant, equipment at cost Less: Accumulated depreciation

864

866

(202)

(178)

662

688

1,181

871

3,153

3,027

Cultural assets at fair value

14

14

Total cultural assets

14

14

3,167

3,041

Plant and equipment under finance lease (at cost) Less: Accumulated amortisation

Total plant and equipment

Net carrying amount of property, plant and equipment

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 73


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 6. PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT (CONTINUED) Plant, equipment Lease hold Plant, under Land at fair improvements equipment at Finance lease value* at cost cost at cost

Cultural Assets at fair value

Total

2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 Opening balance

740

740

1416

1130

183

354

688

583

Additions

-

-

28

465

551

269

341

441

Disposal

-

-

-

-

(126)

(8)

(169)

Transfer to assets classified as held for sale

-

-

-

-

-

-

Depreciation expense

-

-

(212)

(178)

(89)

(148)

Effects of change in accounting policy

-

-

-

-

-

(284)

740 1,232 1,416

519

183

Closing balance

740

14

27 3,041

2834

-

1

920

1176

(201)

-

(2)

(295)

(211)

(46)

(17)

-

-

(46)

(17)

(152)

(118)

-

-

(453)

(444)

-

-

-

(12)

662

688

14

14 3,167

(296) 3041

*An independent valuation of OPP’s land was carried out in June 2006, to determine the fair value of land.The valuation which conforms to Australian Valuations Standards, was determined by reference to the amounts for which assets could be exchanged between knowledgeable willing parties in an arm’s length transaction. The valuation was based on independent assessments. In the current year OPP has reviewed the fair value of the assets and it has been determined that no material changes have occurred since the last revaluation. Figures for 2007 have been restated due to change in the capitalisation threshold policy from $1,000 to $5,000 (refer to note 1).

74 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 7. PAYABLES AND ACCRUALS 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

646

560

Account Payables and Accruals

2,321

2,557

Total

2,967

3,117

Accrued Employee Benefits

The Payables and Accruals amounts are exclusive of GST. The Department of Justice pays GST on behalf of the Office. The average credit period is 30 days. No interest is charged from the date of the invoice. (a) Maturity analysis of payables Please refer to note 18 for the ageing analysis of payables (b) Nature and extent of risk arising from payables Please refer to note 18 for the extent of credit risk arising from payables

NOTE 8. INTEREST BEARING LIABILITIES 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

325

367

325

367

443

341

443

341

Current

325

367

Non-current

443

341

768

708

Plant and equipment under finance lease (note 6)

662

688

Total non-current assets pledged as security

662

688

Current Secured Finance lease liabilities (note 14) Non-current Secured Finance lease liabilities (note 14)

Aggregate carrying amount of interest bearing liabilities

Lease liabilities are effectively secured as the rights to the leased assets revert to the lessor in the event of default. Assets pledged as security The carrying amounts of non-current assets pledged as security are: Finance lease

(a) Maturity analysis of interest bearing liabilities Please refer to note 18 for the ageing analysis of interest bearing liabilities. (b) Nature and extent of risk arising from interest bearing liabilities Please refer to note 18 for the nature and extent of risks arising from interest bearing liabilities.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 75


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 9. PROVISIONS 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

- Unconditional and expected to be settled within 12 months (ii)

4,106

3,272

- Unconditional and expected to be settled after 12 months (iii)

1,064

1,409

5,170

4,681

- Unconditional and expected to be settled within 12 months (ii)

807

720

- Unconditional and expected to be settled after 12 months (iii)

170

169

977

889

6,147

5,570

Employee benefits (note 9(a))

705

548

Provisions related to employee benefits on-costs

110

85

Total non current provisions

815

633

Annual leave entitlement

1,903

1,807

Unconditional long service leave entitlements

3,267

2,874

5,170

4,681

705

548

5,875

5,229

Current on-costs

977

889

Non-current on-costs

110

85

Total on-costs

1,087

974

Total employee benefits and related on-costs

6,962

6,203

Current Employee benefits (i) (note 9(a))

Provisions related to employee benefit on-costs

Total current provisions Non current

(a) Employee benefits (i) and related on-costs Current employee benefits:

Non current employee benefits: Conditional long service leave entitlements Total employee benefits

(b) Movement in provisions for on-costs Opening balance Additional provisions recognized Reductions arising from payments/other sacrifices of future economic benefits Closing balance

974 8,368 (8,255) 1,087

Current

977

Non-current

110 1,087

Provisions for employee benefits consist of amounts for annual leave and long service leave accrued by employees, not including on-costs. The amounts disclosed are nominal amounts. (iii) The amounts disclosed are discounted to present value. (i)

(ii)

76 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 10. SUPERANNUATION Government Employees’ Superannuation Fund No liability is recognised in the balance sheet for the Office’s share of the State’s unfunded superannuation liability. The State’s unfunded superannuation liability has been reflected in the financial statements of the Department of Treasury and Finance However, superannuation contributions for the reporting period are included as part of salaries and associated costs in the operating statement of the Office. The name and details of the major employee superannuation funds and contributions made by the Office are as follows: Fund

Contribution for the Year 2008 $

Contribution for the Year 2007 $

Contribution Outstanding at Year End 2008 $

Contribution outstanding at Year End 2007 $

596,564

582,269

0

0

993,119

852,338

0

0

302,914

52,573

0

0

1,892,597

1,487,180

0

0

Defined benefit plans: State Superannuation Fund Revised and New Schemes Defined contribution plans: Vic. Super Scheme Other private funds Total contributions to all funds

The bases for contributions are determined by the various schemes. The requirements of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 are fully complied with. All employees of the Office are entitled to benefits on retirement, disability or death from the Government Employees’ Superannuation Fund. This Fund provides defined lump sum benefits based on years of service and final average salary. The above amounts were measured as at 30 June of each year, or in the case of employer contributions they relate to the years ended 30 June.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 77


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 11. EQUITY AND MOVEMENTS IN EQUITY 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

240

240

240

240

Balance at the beginning of the year

240

240

Revaluation increment/(decrements)

0

0

240

240

2,105

1,957

Balance at the beginning of the year

1,957

1,560

Equity transfers from related entities

148

397

2,105

1,957

(5,889)

(5,603)

0

(296)

37

10

Accumulated (deficit) at the end of the financial year

(5,852)

(5,889)

Total equity at the end of the financial year

(3,507)

(3,692)

(a) Reserves Asset revaluation reserve Movements Asset revaluation reserve

Balance at the end of the year (b) Contributed Capital Contributed capital Movements

Balance at the end of the year (c) Accumulated deficit Balance at the beginning of the year Effects of change in the capitalisation threshold policy Net result for the reporting period

NOTE 12. COMMITMENTS FOR EXPENDITURE Capital commitments There are no outstanding capital commitments as at 30 June 2008 (2007 - nil). NOTE 13. CONTINGENT LIABILITIES AND CONTINGENT ASSETS There are no contingent liabilities or contingent assets at balance date not provided for in the Balance Sheet at 30 June 2008 (2007- nil).

78 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 14. LEASES Disclosures for lessees - finance leases Leasing arrangements Finance leases relate to motor vehicles with lease terms of 3 years. The Office has options to purchase the equipment for a nominal amount at the conclusion of the lease agreements. Minimum future lease payments

Present value of minimum future lease payments

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

Not longer than 1 year

363

399

325

367

Longer than one year and not longer than 5 years

471

363

443

341

0

0

0

0

Finance leases Commitments in relation to finance leases are payable as follows:

Longer than 5 years Minimum lease payments

834

762

768

708

Less: Future finance charges

(66)

(54)

0

0

Present value of minimum lease payments

768

708

768

708

Current interest bearing liabilities (Note 8)

325

367

Non-current interest bearing liabilities (Note 8)

443

341

768

708

Included in the financial statements as:

The weighted average interest rate implicit in the leases is 7.05% (2007 - 6.69%). Disclosures for lessees - operating leases Leasing arrangements Operating leases relate to equipment and accommodation with lease terms of between 3 to 5 years, with an option to extend for a further 5 years. All operating lease contracts contain market review clauses in the event that the Office exercises its option to renew. The Office does not have an option to purchase the leased asset at the expiry of the lease period. 2008 $’000

2007 $’000

Not longer than 1 year

2,725

1,924

Longer than one year and not longer than 5 years

3,310

4,368

Operating leases Commitments for minimum lease payments in relation to cancellable and non cancellable operating leases are payable as follows:

Longer than 5 years

0

0

6,035

6,292

Representing: Cancellable operating leases Non-cancellable operating leases

20

56

6,015

6,236

6,035

6,292

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 79


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 15. RESPONSIBLE PERSONS In accordance with the Directions of the Minister for Finance under the Financial Management Act 1994, the following disclosures are made regarding responsible person for the reporting period. Names The persons who held the positions of Ministers and Accountable Officer in the Department and the Office are as follows: Attorney-General

The Hon. Rob Hulls, MP

1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008

Acting Attorney-General

The Hon. John Lenders, MLC

1 July 2007 to 8 July 2007

The Hon. Bob Cameron, MP

16 January 2008 to 28 January 2008

The Hon. Bob Cameron, MP

21 February 2008 to 26 February 2008

The Hon. Bob Cameron, MP

29 March 2008 to 6 April 2008

Secretary to the Department of Justice

Ms Penny Armytage

1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008

Acting Secretary to the Department of Justice

Mr Ross Kennedy

20 July 2007 to 27 July 2007

Dr Claire Noone

6 October 2007 to 25 October 2007

Mr Ross Kennedy

21 December 2007 to 4 January 2008

Dr Roslyn Kelleher

25 April 2008 to 9 June 2008

Accountable Officer

Ms Angela Cannon

1 July 2007 to 30 May 2008

Acting Accountable Officer

Mr Stuart Ward

2 June 2008 to 30 June 2008

Remuneration Remuneration received or receivable by the Accountable Officer in connection with the management of the Office during the reporting period was in the range: $180,000 - $190,000 ($180,000 - $190,000 in 2007) Ministerial remuneration is disclosed in the annual report of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Remuneration received or receivable by the Secretary in connection with the management of the Department during the reporting period is disclosed in the annual report of the Department of Justice. Other transactions Other related transactions and loans requiring disclosure under the Directions of the Minister of Finance have been considered and there are no matters to report.

80 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 16. REMUNERATION OF EXECUTIVES The number of executive officers, other than the Accountable Officer, and their total remuneration during the reporting period are shown in the first two columns in the table below in their relevant income bands. The base remuneration of executive officers is shown in the third and fourth columns. Base remuneration is exclusive of bonus payments, long-service leave payments, redundancy payments and retirement benefits. A number of executive officers retired, resigned or were retrenched in 2007. This has had a significant impact on total remuneration figures due to the inclusion of annual leave, long service leave and retrenchment payments in 2007. Income Band

Total Remuneration

Base Remuneration

2008

2007

2008

2007

$100,000 - $109,999

1

0

1

0

$110,000 - $119,999

0

0

0

0

$120,000 - $129,999

1

0

1

0

$130,000 - $139,999

0

0

0

1

$140,000 - $149,999

0

0

0

0

$150,000 - $159,999

0

0

0

0

$160,000 - $169,999

0

0

0

0

$340,000 - $349,999

0

1

0

0

$470,000 - $479,999

0

1

0

0

Total Numbers

2

2

2

1

$231,752

$822,829

$231,752

$131,060

Total Amount

NOTE 17. NOTES TO CASH FLOW STATEMENT Note

2008 $’000

2007 $’000

73

72

37

10

453

445

126

10

(a) Reconciliation of cash For the purposes of the Cash Flow Statement, cash includes cash on hand and in banks and investments in money market instruments, net of outstanding bank overdrafts, Cash at the end of the financial year as shown in the Cash Flow Statement is reconciled to the related items in the balance sheet as follows: Cash (b) Reconciliation of net result for the period to net cash flows from operating activities Net Results for the period Depreciation and amortisation

3(c)

Net loss on sale of non-current assets Change in operating assets and liabilities Decrease (increase) in receivables

5

3

31

Decrease (increase) in amounts due from related entities

5

(716)

(2,622)

Increase (decrease) in payables

7

(396)

1,454

845

545

15

2

367

(125)

Increase (decrease) in provisions (LSL and AL) Increase (decrease) in other liabilities Net cash inflow from operating activities

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 81


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

NOTE 18. FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS (a) Significant accounting policies Details of the significant accounting policies and methods adopted, including the criteria for recognition, the basis of measurement, and the basis on which income and expenses are recognised, with respect to each class of financial asset, financial liability and equity instruments are disclosed in Note 1 to the financial statements. Categorisation of financial instruments Note

Category

Carrying amount 2008 $’000

Carrying amount 2007 $’000

17

N/A

73

72

Receivables

5

Loans and receivables (at amortised cost)

7

10

Amount due from Department of Justice

5

Loans and receivables (at amortised cost)

3,937

3,221

7

Financial liabilities measured at amortised cost

2,967

3,117

8,14

Financial liabilities measured at amortised cost

768

708

Financial Assets Cash and cash equivalent

Financial Liabilities Payables Interest bearing liabilities

(b) Credit risk exposure Credit risk arises from the financial assets of OPP, which comprise cash and cash equivalents, trade and other receivables. OPP’s exposure to credit risk arises from the potential default of counter party on their contractual obligations resulting in financial loss to OPP. Credit risk is measured at fair value and is monitored on a regular basis. Credit risk associated with OPP’s financial assets is minimal because the main debtor is the Victorian Government. Provisions of impairment for financial assets is calculated based on past experience, and current and expected changes in client credit ratings. The Office’s maximum exposure to credit risk at balance date in relation to each class of recognised financial asset is the carrying amount of these assets as indicated in the Balance Sheet. (c) Liquidity risk Liquidity risk arises when OPP is unable to meet its financial obligations as they fall due. OPP operates under the Government fair payments policy of settling financial obligations within 30 days and in the event of a dispute, make payments within 30 days from the date of resolution. OPP’s exposure to liquidity risk is deemed insignificant based on prior periods’ data and current assessment of risk. Maximum exposure to liquidity risk is the carrying amounts of financial liabilities in the Balance Sheet.

82 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

(d) Interest Rate risk exposure and ageing analysis of financial assets ($ thousand)

Description

Note

Weighted average effective interest rate

Carrying amount

Interest rate exposure

%

2008

Not past due and not impaired

Fixed interest rate

Variable interest rate

Non- interest bearing

Financial Assets Receivables

5

-

7

-

-

7

7

Amount due from Department of Justice

5

-

3,937

-

-

3,937

3,937

-

3,944

-

-

3,944

3,944

Total 2007 Financial Assets Receivables

5

-

10

-

-

10

10

Amount due from Department of Justice

5

-

3,221

-

-

3,221

3221

3,231

-

-

3,231

3,231

Total

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 83


Interest Rate risk exposure and maturity of financial liabilities ($ thousand)

Description

Weighted average effective interest Carrying Note rate amount %

2008

Nominal amount

Interest rate exposure Fixed interest rate

Variable interest rate

Noninterest bearing

2,967

-

-

2,967

Maturity dates Less than 1 month

1-3 3 months months - 1 year

1-5 years

Financial Liabilities Payables

7

-

8,14

7.05%

2,967

2,967

-

-

-

Interest bearing liabilities Finance lease liability Total

768

768

-

-

834

156

70

193

415

3,735

768

-

2,967

3,801

3,123

70

193

415

3,117

-

-

3,117

3,117

3,117

-

-

-

708

708

-

-

762

146

43

229

344

3,825

708

-

3,117

3,879

3,263

43

229

344

2007 Financial Liabilities Payables

7

-

8,14

6.69%

Interest bearing liabilities Finance lease liability Total

(e) Market risk The Office’s exposure to market risk is primarily through interest rate risk. The exposure to interest rate risk is insignificant and arises primarily through the Office’s interest bearing liabilities. (f) Fair value The carrying amount of financial assets and financial liabilities of the Office approximates their fair value because of the short term nature of the financial instruments and the expectation that they will be paid in full.

84 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


ACCOUNTABLE OFFICER’S AND CHIEF FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER’S DECLARATION We certify that the attached financial report for the Office of Public Prosecutions has been prepared in accordance with Standing Direction 4.2 of the Financial Management Act 1994, applicable Financial Reporting Directions, Australian accounting standards and other mandatory professional reporting requirements. We further state that, in our opinion, the information set out in the Operating Statement, Balance Sheet, Statement of Changes in Equity, Cash Flow Statement and notes forming part of the financial report, presents fairly the financial transactions during the year ended 30 June 2008 and financial position of the Office as at 30 June 2008. We are not aware of any circumstance, which would render any particulars included in the financial report to be misleading or inaccurate. We authorise the attached financial report for issue on 12th September, 2008.

Eddie Chew

Stuart Ward

Acting Chief Finance and Accounting Officer Office of Public Prosecutions

Acting Solicitor Office of Public Prosecutions

Melbourne 12th September 2008

Melbourne 12th September 2008

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 85


86 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


OPP Annual Report 2007/08 87


ATTESTATION ON COMPLIANCE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN/NEW ZEALAND RISK MANAGEMENT STANDARD I, Eddie Chew certify that the Office of Public Prosecutions has risk management processes in place consistent with the Australian/New Zealand Risk Management Standard (or equivalent designated standard) and an internal control system is in place that enables the executive to understand, manage and satisfactorily control risk exposures. The audit committee verifies this assurance and that the risk profile of the Office of Public Prosecutions has been critically reviewed within the last 12 months.

Eddie Chew Acting Chief Finance and Accounting Officer Office of Public Prosecutions Melbourne 12th September 2008

88 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


APPENDICES CONTENTS Appendix 1

Output and performance measures

90

Appendix 2

Other legal functions of the DPP

90

Appendix 3 Crown appeals under section 567A of the Crimes Act 1958 91 Appendix 4

OPP performance in 2007/08

92

Appendix 5 Crown Prosecutor performance in 2007/08

93

Appendix 6 Assistance provided to victims and witnesses in 2007/08

95

Appendix 7

Freedom of Information

96

Appendix 8

Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001

97

Appendix 9

The OPP workforce

98

Appendix 10 Occupational health and safety

99

Appendix 11 Environmental reporting

100

Appendix 12 Supplementary information

103

Appendix 13 Statement of availability of other information

104

Appendix 14 Disclosure index

105

Glossary and Abreviations

106

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 89


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 1. OUTPUT AND PERFORMANCE MEASURES1 OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Target

Actual

Variance from target

Variance from 06/07

5600

8600

53.6%

16.4%

Quantity Judge sitting days2 Number of appeals lodged in the Court of Appeal and the High Court Number of filing hearings - Magistrates’ Court

380

506

33.2%

-24.6%

3200

2986

-6.7%

-12.0%

95%

94%

-1.1%

4.4%

<40

5

-

-

<5

0

-

-

Quantity Customer satisfaction Timeliness Number of adjournments sought by the Crown in County Court and Magistrates’ Court on the grounds of insufficient time to prepare3 Percentage of procedures not meeting statutory time limits

Notes 1 These measures are reported by the OPP to the Department of Justice as part of the Budget Paper 3 output and performance measures reporting process. 2 This measure provides an indicator of OPP workload demands. OPP staff need to be prepared and attendant in court to facilitate a judge sitting day. The total number of judge sitting days has continued its upward trend. 3 Data provided for this measure does not include adjournments in the Magistrates’ Court as this data is not collected by the OPP.

APPENDIX 2. OTHER LEGAL FUNCTIONS OF THE DPP As well as formal prosecuting activities and appeals, the Director of Public Prosecutions undertakes a number of other legal functions. These are set out below.

stayed a Presentment made by or on behalf of the Director. The Director was not successful and has commenced an Appeal to the Court of Appeal against that decision.

Order 56 Judicial Reviews Order 56 of the Supreme Court Rules provides a procedure to review the orders or actions of a judicial officer, usually on the basis of an error as to jurisdiction, a failure to exercise jurisdiction or a denial of procedural fairness. The DPP uses the Order 56 procedure to review decisions in the Magistrates’ Court and the County Court where the decision infringes jurisdiction and is not amenable to other forms of appeal.

Section 582 leave applications Applications can be made to the Court of Appeal under s582 of the Crimes Act 1958 for leave to appeal against a conviction or sentence. These applications are heard by a single judge. Where an application is refused by a single judge, the applicant can elect to have the matter heard by the full Court of Appeal. The DPP represents the Crown in these matters. In 2007/08, 148 applications were heard by single judges in the Court of Appeal: 110 were granted and 38 refused.

The Order 56 procedure is also used by unsuccessful appellants to review a County Court appeal pursuant to s83 of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989, as this is the only avenue available for further appeal in such proceedings. A high proportion of these reviews relate to drink driving prosecutions. In 2007/08, the Director acted for respondent police informants in 12 Order 56 Judicial Reviews of County Court appeals. Eight of these appeals commenced within the 2007/08 financial year and all were commenced by defendants. Three were commenced by the DPP. Within the 2007/08 financial year, nine of these matters proceeded to final hearing and judgment. Two further matters proceeded to final hearing within the 2007/08 financial year and are awaiting judgment. Three Court of Appeal Applications relating to Order 56 Judicial Reviews were commenced and two were determined in the 2007/2008 financial year. The DPP reviewed one County Court judge’s decision by way of Order 56 Judicial Review. In that case the Trial Judge permanently 90 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

Entry of nolle prosequi During the year, applications for the entry of nolle prosequi submitted by the legal representatives of accused persons or forwarded by Crown Prosecutors were granted on 121 occasions. Indemnities from prosecution, undertakings or letters of comfort Director’s undertakings, indemnities or letter of comfort were issued to a total of 52 witnesses who gave evidence against 69 accused in 52 separate matters. Consents to prosecute The DPP consented to file presentments in relation to 15 matters pursuant to s321 of the Crimes Act 1958. The DPP granted 38 consents or authorities to prosecute in cases involving offences pursuant to ss47A, 50 or 69 of the Crimes Act 1958. No consents to prosecute were granted under the Legal Profession Practice Act 1958 or the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958. One consent to prosecute was granted pursuant to s90 of the Estate Agents Act 1980.


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

Two consents to prosecute were granted pursuant to s26(5) of the Magistratesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Court Act 1989. Three consents to prosecute were granted pursuant to s132 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. Direct presentments The DPP directly presented an accused person on 44 occasions. Interstate extraditions and transfers Interstate extraditions were undertaken for the return to Victoria of three persons charged with various offences. International extraditions The DPP formally requested the Commonwealth AttorneyGeneral to institute the international extradition of Mr H from the United Kingdom and another accused person (whose details are currently suppressed) from the Netherlands. The OPP continued to work with the Commonwealth Government to extradite Mr M from Greece. Assistance provided to the Coroner In 2007/08, the OPP assisted the Coroner in seven hearings.

Contempt of court The Director commenced 1 prosecutions for contempt of court in 2007/08. Conflict of interest There were no matters referred to the Attorney-General pursuant to s29(1) of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 as the result of a possible conflict of interest. Confiscation Act 1997 proceedings During 2007/08, the Director obtained 90 new Restraining Orders and dealt with 248 subsequent applications. Of the Restraining Orders obtained, 66 contained Automatic Forfeiture as a purpose, 25 contained Compensation to victims as a purpose and 69 contained Pecuniary Penalty orders as a purpose. 5 Restraining Orders were for Civil Forfeiture. There were a total of 940 separate court hearings arising from Confiscation Act matters during the year. The range of offences related to these orders included murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, money laundering, rape, incest and theft.

APPENDIX 3. CROWN APPEALS UNDER SECTION 567A OF THE CRIMES ACT 1958 In 2007/08, 27 appeals against sentence instituted by the DPP to the Court of Appeal pursuant to s567A of the Crimes Act 1958 were completed. Three of these appeals were abandoned. Of the 24 appeals where judgment was delivered by the court, eight were allowed and 16 were dismissed. No

MATTER NAME

DATE OF STATUS OF JUDGMENT APPEAL

No

MATTER NAME

DATE OF STATUS OF JUDGMENT APPEAL

1

TT

2.8.07

Abandoned

15

RONGONUI Robert

7.12.07

Allowed

2

MIRIK Metin

6.8.07

Dismissed

16

RALPH Brendan

14.12.07

Dismissed

3

MIRIK Cetin

6.8.07

Allowed

17

MOURKAKOS Peter

19.12.07

Allowed

4

DOWNING Jason

7.8.07

Dismissed

18

HINTON Andrew

28.2.08

Dismissed

5

BRIDLE Steven

27.8.07

Dismissed

19

PETERSON Paul

28.2.08

Dismissed

6

BW

31.8.07

Dismissed

20

HAMMENT Raymond 28.2.08

Dismissed

7

SAMU Pio

6.9.07

Dismissed

21

GREEN Anthony

6.3.08

Dismissed

8

COLEMAN Scott

24.9.07

Abandoned

22

KOSMIDIS Theodoris

24.4.08

Allowed

9

JOYCE Clinton

2.10.07

Allowed

23

DANIEL David

16.5.08

Dismissed

10

GREEN Kyle

23.10.07

Dismissed

24

ROUT Ben

29.5.08

Dismissed

11

PAU Ion

29.10.07

Allowed

25

TOUMNGEUN Kia

29.5.08

Dismissed

12

TURNBULL Michael

13.11.07

Dismissed

26

LOVETT Richard

12.6.08

Abandoned

13

SMEATON Shem

15.11.07

Allowed

27

McMASTER Stuart

12.6.08

Dismissed

14

TOMA Martin

6.12.07

Allowed

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 91


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 4. OPP PERFORMANCE IN 2007/08 Briefs prepared and hearings attended Briefs prepared and hearings attended Average number per staff*

1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

49,020

50,097

52,800

56,525

64,767

66,413

67,570

69,183

72,633

248.8

249.2

258.7

271.8

305.5

281.0

301.7

312.2

256.5

* Note that this refers to all legal, legal support and corporate services staff (FTE) on payroll as at 30 June 2008 (excluding Governor in Council appointees) Trials conducted Melbourne County Court Melbourne Supreme Court

267

239

216

212

340

355

341

302

340

39

39

30

49

49

32

43

42

41

Circuit County and Supreme Courts

136

117

108

100

135

124

118

101

118

Total Trials

442

395

354

361

524

511

502

445

499

1021

1022

916

965

1089

1005

828

966

866

Plea of guilty hearings conducted Melbourne County Court Melbourne Supreme Court Circuit County and Supreme Courts Total plea of guilty hearings

56

49

37

25

43

48

63

62

29

238

229

226

256

212

197

218

216

255

1315

1300

1179

1246

1344

1250

1109

1244

1150

Judge sitting days Supreme Court County Court Circuit County and Supreme Courts Total*

679

652

558

752

817

809

1158

1123

1008

3723

3568

3486

3777

4640

4558

4733

4929

5894

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1336

1698

4402

4220

4044

4529

5457

5367

5891

7388

8600

68.0

68.1

60.5

57.0

55.9

64.1

58.8

* Note that the total prior to 2006/07 does not include Circuit Case outcomes as a percentage of total case completions Guilty Pleas Pre-Trial Guilty Pleas Listed as Trial

63.6

66.4

6.7

5.8

5.3

5.7

9.8

10.0

9.3

9.4

11.0

Guilty Pleas (Total) as a % of Case Completions

70.3

72.2

73.3

73.8

70.3

67.0

65.2

73.5

69.8

Convictions (Trial)

14.0

14.4

14.0

12.9

16.1

15.0

17.1

14.6

16.5

9.6

8.1

8.0

8.4

11.3

12.0

12.2

11.0

12.3

23.6

22.5

22.0

21.3

27.4

27.0

29.3

25.6

28.8

6.1

5.3

4.7

4.9

2.3

6.0

5.5

0.9

1.4

Guilty as a % of Trial Outcomes

59.3

64.1

64.0

60.7

58.8

56.0

58.4

56.9

57.3

Acquittals as a % of Trial Outcomes

40.7

35.9

36.0

39.3

41.2

44.0

41.6

43.1

42.7

Guilty Outcomes as a % of Total Case Completions

84.3

86.6

87.3

86.7

86.4

82.0

82.3

88.1

86.3

Acquittal (Trial) Trials (Total) as a % of Case Completions Other Case Completions

92 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

Appeals to Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and High Court Court of Appeal / Supreme Court

1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

227

231

252

281

279

296

302

290

291

7

7

2

7

6

10

11

9

8

234

238

254

288

285

306

313

299

299

1497

1424

1398

1645

1565

1620

1587

1862

1532

521

469

442

577

640

628

542

402

382

2018

1893

1840

2222

2205

2248

2129

2264

1914

High Court Total Appeals County Court appeals completed Melbourne Circuit Courts Total

APPENDIX 5. CROWN PROSECUTOR PERFORMANCE IN 2007/08 1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

Number of Crown Prosecutors (FTE)

19.0

19.4

17.9

18.2

18.2

17.5

17.7

18.8

22.5

Days in Court Total

2450

2306

1826

2218

2428

2106

1904

2216

2280

129

119

102

122

133

120

108

118

101

52.4%

50.8%

43.9%

52.5%

59.6%

54.5%

50.8%

48.4%

41.9%

898

659

1238

1803

2643

2634

2371

2472

3095

Presentments by Number of Crown Prosecutors

47

34

69

99

145

150

134

131

137

Advice re: plea offer Total

20

32

68

170

134

418

636

718

1241

1

2

4

9

7

24

36

38

55

278

215

1238

2461

3451

3137

3648

3390

4135

15

11

69

135

190

179

206

180

184

298

247

1306

2631

3585

3555

4284

4108

5376

16

13

73

144

197

203

242

218

239

Days in Court by Number of Crown Prosecutors Court Appearance % Presentments Total

Advice re: plea offer by Number of Crown Prosecutors General advice Total General advice by Number of Crown Prosecutors Advice Total Advice Total by Number of Crown Prosecutors

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 93


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 5. CROWN PROSECUTOR PERFORMANCE IN 2007/08

PRESENTMENTS BY NUMBER OF CROWN PROSECUTORS

ADVICE TOTAL BY NUMBER OF CROWN PROSECUTORS

160

300

140

250

120 200

100 80

150

60

100

40 50

20 0

0 1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04 2004-05

2005-06

2006-07 2007-08

1999-00

GENERAL ADVICE BY NUMBER OF CROWN PROSECUTORS

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04 2004-05

2005-06

2006-07 2007-08

ADVICE RE: PLEA OFFER BY NUMBER OF CROWN PROSECUTORS

250

60

50

200

40 150

30 100

20 50

10

0

0 1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

94 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

2003-04 2004-05

2005-06

2006-07 2007-08

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04 2004-05

2005-06

2006-07 2007-08


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 6. ASSISTANCE PROVIDED TO VICTIMS AND WITNESSES IN 2007/08 During 2007/08, the OPP’s Witness Assistance Service provided assistance to victims and witnesses across Victoria. Details of this assistance are set out below. Witness Assistance Service case referrals by category Adult Sexual Assault Armed Robbery

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

105

118

144

185

200

258

355

27

31

4

50

37

28

38

Arson

6

5

0

4

2

2

6

Attempted Murder

25

33

44

41

35

38

42

Burglary

16

27

25

24

14

18

21

CSA - Adult

93

119

120

139

144

171

222

CSA - Child

130

170

188

275

305

334

369

Coroner’s Inquest

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Culpable Driving

34

47

50

47

54

55

77

Dangerous Driving Causing Death

0

0

0

0

1

5

13

Fraud

12

19

12

16

14

12

13

Murder-Mental Impairment Review

14

16

17

18

20

21

25

101

141

138

146

152

135

144

Other

39

33

31

43

40

46

69

Physical Assault - Adult

65

96

132

185

162

157

198

Physical Assault - Child

5

8

11

14

15

14

16

Theft

0

0

9

14

8

11

16

Threat to Kill

4

4

4

5

6

10

17

676

867

929

1206

1209

1316

1642

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

237

327

380

504

505

551

547

Child under 10

49

103

109

105

118

114

109

Drug, Alcohol and Substance User

10

20

26

39

40

41

50

4

4

5

6

12

11

14

Intellectual Disability

17

23

35

49

44

52

57

NESB

97

147

174

183

165

129

124

Other

8

15

23

30

29

27

29

Physical Disability

31

32

35

33

33

50

60

Psychiatric Disability

21

30

28

49

45

58

58

Murder/Homicide

Witness Assistance Service case referrals with special needs Child 10-16

Hearing Impaired

Requires Interpreter Sight Impaired

20

29

45

45

42

45

51

N/A

N/A

3

2

2

3

5

494

730

863

1045

1035

1081

1104

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 95


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 7. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 The Office of Public Prosecutions is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act). Particulars of the functions and organisation of the OPP are set out elsewhere in this Annual Report. The OPP’s website (www. opp.vic.gov.au) provides additional information that might also be of assistance in this regard. Further information can be obtained from the Act, the various regulations made under that Act and by visiting www.foi.vic.gov.au. Freedom of Information requests during 2007/08 The Office of Public Prosecutions received 35 requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008. The results of these requests were as follows: Requests transferred to Victoria Police

1

Requests transferred to other Agencies

1

Request relating to documents not held

2

Access granted in full or in part

25

Access denied in full or in part

3

Further particulars sought in relation to request

Access not finalised at end of reporting period

3

Request withdrawn

Total

35

Categories of documents held by the OPP The Office maintains electronic and paper based files. The computerised case management system, PRISM, provides a complete file registration and file management system. Files are initially recorded when they are allocated a file number. All details of the accused, addresses, sureties and witnesses are entered. Further information is added as the matter progresses. A paper based case file is maintained in every matter conducted on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions. These files contain court documents and records of all communications and work undertaken in the particular matter. The Bail and Breaches section maintains a spreadsheet of bail applications, which records applications in chronological order from the date of receipt of documents into the Office. This section also maintains an index of files of breaches of noncustodial orders. The Policy and Advice Directorate maintains an electronic database that records all matters handled by this section. The Human Resources section maintains an alphabetical index of all persons employed in the Office, which also includes a brief work history of each employee. The Requisitions Book maintains a record of each order as it is raised, its allocated number and details of the order, such as cost. The Accounts Register (Non-Professional Assistance Register) is a register of recurring expenditure (e.g. photocopying machine rental). An entry is raised each time an invoice is received or goods supplied to the Office. The Professional Assistance Register is an alphabetical ledger of all barristers briefed by the OPP, specialists, psychiatrists, court reporting, accountants and other professional assistance and contains details of claims made for payment after appearances at court or provision of advice. 96 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

The Fixed Assets Register is a register of all assets owned by the Office, including a description, cost and location of each item. The Director’s Files cover a variety of subjects, including where the Director’s consent is required to prosecute a matter, advice given on various legal matters, answers given to public inquiries and newspaper clippings on particular cases. Administrative files contain material relevant to general office issues and contain reports, correspondence and file notes for subjects such as Freedom of Information legislation and transfer of files to the Public Records Office. Access to documents The Freedom of Information Act 1982 aims to make the maximum amount of information available to Victorians, promptly and inexpensively. To facilitate this aim, applications must be as specific and as precise as possible to enable quick identification and searching for the relevant documents. Access to information held by the OPP may only be obtained through written request to the Office’s Freedom of Information Officer. Delegated officers handle the processing and determination of the application. The Solicitor for Public Prosecutions handles any request for internal review. An applicant may request photocopies of documents and/or inspect specific documents at the Office by arrangement, or by other access arrangements that may be appropriate to the application. Applicants should provide a telephone number as a point of contact for the Freedom of Information Officer to clarify or discuss matters relating to the request. The OPP can refuse to release all or part of a document if it contains information that is exempt under the Act. The Act outlines general categories of information that are exempt, including information relating to the personal affairs of third parties, information provided in confidence, information which if released might endanger the lives or physical safety of individuals, Cabinet documents, commercial-in-confidence information and internal working documents, the release of which would be contrary to the public interest. Where the OPP decides to deny access to all or part of a document, it will advise the applicant of the decision and the reasons for the decision in an ‘Access Decision’ letter. If the applicant wishes to challenge a decision of the OPP, he or she may appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or to the Ombudsman if making a complaint about the way the request has been handled. Charges under the Act The Act specifies that access to information be provided at the lowest reasonable cost. Charges are: • Application fee – a request must be accompanied by payment of $21 • Search fee – $20 per hour or part thereof (minimum fee of $5) • Supervision fee – $10 per hour (where a document is inspected by an applicant at the Office) • Photocopy fee – $0.50 per A4 page • Deposits – a deposit of $25 may be requested before the Office will grant access if the calculated charge does not exceed $100. If the calculated charge exceeds $100, a deposit of 50 per cent of the calculated charge may be requested. Some charges may be waived in certain circumstances: for example, where the applicant is impecunious or the information was accessed in the public interest.


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

Amendment of personal records After a document containing information relating to the personal affairs of a person has been released to that person, or in the case of a deceased person, that person’s next of kin, the applicant can request the correction of any information held on the file where it is considered that this information is inaccurate, incomplete or gives a misleading impression. Requests for amendments must be made in writing and must specify:• an address for service of notices; • particulars of why the person making the request believes the information to be incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading; and • the amendments he or she wishes to be made.

(a) the findings on any material questions of fact, the material on which those findings were based and the reasons for the decision; (b) the name and designation of the person making the decision; and (c) the applicant’s rights of review to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in respect of the decision.

Where the Office accedes to the request, the record may be either altered or amended by annotation. Where the Office refuses to make the amendment, it must notify the applicant in writing of the decision, advising of:

Freedom of Information Officer Office of Public Prosecutions 9th Floor, 565 Lonsdale Street MELBOURNE VIC 3000

If the Tribunal affirms the Office’s decision, the applicant may insist that a notation be made to the record specifying why he or she claims the information it contains is incomplete or otherwise inaccurate. The notation then becomes part of the document and may be disclosed pursuant to the Act. Nominated Officer/Contact Officer Requests for access to documents in the Office of Public Prosecutions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 may be directed to:

APPENDIX 8. WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTION ACT 2001 The Office of Public Prosecutions is committed to the aims and objectives of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 (the Act). It does not tolerate improper conduct by its employees and officers or the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct. The office recognises the value of transparency and accountability in its administrative and management practices and supports the making of disclosures that reveal corrupt conduct, conduct involving a substantial mismanagement of public resources or conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment. The OPP will take all necessary steps to protect people who make such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure. It will also afford natural justice to the person who is subject of the disclosure. Compliance with the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 During 2007/08: • The OPP has received no disclosures during the year. • The OPP has not referred any disclosures to the Ombudsman for determination as to whether they are public interest disclosures during the year. • The Ombudsman has not referred any disclosed matters to the OPP during the year. • The OPP has not referred any disclosed matters to the Ombudsman to investigate during the year. • The Ombudsman has not taken over any investigation of disclosed matters from the OPP during the year. • The OPP has made no request under s74 of the Act to the Ombudsman to investigate disclosed matters during the year. • The OPP has not declined to investigate a disclosed matter during the year.

• There have been no disclosed matters that were substantiated on investigation. There has been no action required to be undertaken arising from an investigation, since there have been no investigations. • The Ombudsman has not made any recommendation under the Act that relates to the OPP. Reporting and investigation procedures Written guidelines outlining procedures for reporting disclosure of improper conduct or detrimental action by the OPP or its employees is available for public perusal by contacting the Protected Disclosure Coordinator. Responsible officers Disclosure of improper conduct or detrimental action by the OPP or its employees may be made to the following officers: The Protected Disclosure Coordinator Name: Stuart Ward Position: Solicitor for Public Prosecutions (Acting) Contact number: (03) 9603 7541 Protected Disclosure Officer Names: Michael Hoyle Position: General Manager, Corporate Services Contact numbers: (03) 9603 7541 Alternatively, disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by the OPP or its employees may also be made directly to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman Victoria Level 9, 459 Collins Street (North Tower) MELBOURNE VIC 3000 Telephone: (03) 9613 6222 Toll Free: 1800 806 314 Internet: www. ombudvic@ ombudsman.vic.gov.au

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 97


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 9. THE OPP WORKFORCE As an office holder with the functions of an Agency Head under the Public Administration Act 2004, the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions reports in compliance with the Directions issued by the Commissioner of the State Services Authority pursuant to s45(1)(d) of the Act. The Office of Public Prosecutions forms part of the Justice portfolio and generally applies the same employment processes as those applying within the Department of Justice. In relation to the specific reporting requirements set out in the Commissioner’s Directions, the position is as follows: Profile of OPP workforce Aggregate workforce data as at 30 June 2008 Employment Status

Male

Female

Total Staff

Variation from 2006/07

Permanent

119.2

151.0

270.2

+59.5

Temporary

5.0

5.0

10

-1.9

Casual

2.0

1.0

3.0

+3.0

126.2

157.0

283.2

+60.6

TOTAL

Notes 1 Includes only staff on the payroll as at 30 June 2008 2 Staffing figures have been expressed as full time equivalents (FTE) 3 Staffing figures include two Executive Officers 4 Staffing figures do not include Governor in Council appointees. (Director, Solicitor, Crown Prosecutors) 5 Staffing figures include Articled Clerks Classifications by gender as at 30 June 2008 Full-Time Class.

Part-Time

Male

Female

Total

Variation from 2006/07

Male

Female

Total

Variation from 2006/07

TOTAL FTE

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Grade 6

45

18

63

+22

1.2

6.5

7.7

+1.7

70.7

Grade 5

29

29

58

+11

0

7.8

7.8

-0.6

65.8

Grade 4

15

20

35

+11

0

1.2

1.2

+0.6

36.2

Sen Tech Spec

Grade 3

18

37

55

+18

0

2.5

2.5

+1.1

57.5

Grade 2

17

32

49

+1

0

1.5

1.5

-0.3

50.5

Grade 1

0

0

0

-5

0

1.5

1.5

+0.1

1.5

TOTAL

125

136

261

+58

1.2

21.0

22.2

+2.6

283.2

Notes 1 Includes only staff on the payroll as at 30 June 2008 2 Staffing figures have been expressed as full time equivalents (FTE) 3 Staffing figures include two Executive Officers 4 Staffing figures do not include Governor in Council appointees. (Director, Solicitor, Crown Prosecutors) 5 Staffing figures include Articled Clerks

98 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

Profile of executive officers by gender as at 30 June 2008 Classification

Male

Variation from 2006/07

Female

Variation from 2006/07

Total

Variation from 2006/07

E0-3

2

+1

0

0

2

+1

E0-2

0

0

1

0

1

0

E0-1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

2

+1

1

0

3

+1

Merit and equity programs Selecting on merit The Solicitor for Public Prosecutions made six appointments without general advertisement during 2007/08. These appointments were as a result of appointing candidates to positions with identical duties and requirements to those of positions advertised in the Victorian Public Service Notices. Reviewing personal grievances The Office of Public Prosecutions received four Personal Grievance Applications during 2007/08, all of which were related to promotional opportunities. Managing and valuing diversity The Office of Public Prosecutions was unable to continue to participate in the Victorian Government’s Youth Employment Initiative due to lack of suitable accommodations, but may participate again next year. Over the past six years the office has conducted varied training programs that enable trainees to gain experience and exposure to a number of administrative areas of the office. All new appointees to the office are included in a formal two-day Induction Program. This program includes the provision of information relating to the Code of Conduct and other aspects of employment.

Upholding public sector conduct The Code of Conduct issued by the Commissioner of the State Services Authority under s.45(1)(d) of the Public Administration Act 2004 has been issued to all existing staff and is provided to all new appointees. A Code of Conduct for OPP staff is also published in the Office Manual. All employees of the Office with current or future responsibilities for purchasing goods and/or services or contracting external service providers have attended or are progressively attending relevant contract management courses. This ensures that staff have a clear understanding of probity and integrity issues and relevant processes. Employee relations The OPP is a party to the Public Sector Enterprise Partnership Agreement. During 2007/08, senior management have continued to meet with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) to keep them informed of various issues at the OPP. Recognising that major change can be stressful for staff, the OPP also formed a Consultative Committee to deal with issues arising from the day-to-day impact of the office’s major reorganisation program on staff. The committee includes representation from the CPSU. There have been no industrial disputes during the year.

APPENDIX 10. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and the Office of Public Prosecutions Human Resource Management Policies and Guidelines, the OPP continues in its endeavours to provide a working environment for all staff members and visitors that is safe and without risk to health.

• Continued to provide financial assistance to staff who, due to computerisation of the office, require spectacles for their use of computers

The OPP has established an OH&S Committee, comprising 16 members of staff and three management representatives, to:

• Reviewed the number and requirements of First Aid Officers and provided additional training and provisions where necessary

• improve cooperation in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the occupational health and safety of staff, and

• Continued to provide a ‘Manual Handling’ training course for staff engaged in lifting or carrying heavy files

• formulate, review and disseminate the standards, rules and procedures relating to occupational health and safety that must be carried out or complied with in the OPP workplace.

– policies and procedures relating to OH&S key performance indicators;

This Committee meets monthly or as needed.

– reporting registers of injuries and causes of accidents;

During 2007/08, the OPP:

– WorkCover claims; and

• Continued to offer an Employee Assistance Program that assists staff by providing short term professional counselling and consulting for employees and members of their immediate family who face problems of a personal, family or employment nature

– rehabilitation and early return to work practices.

• Continued to provide an Influenza Vaccination Program to reduce the possibility of staff suffering influenza

• Continued to regularly review all office:

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 99


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 11. ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING Commitment to sustainable practices The Office of Public Prosecutions has a strong commitment to reducing energy consumption, using environmentally sustainable products and developing sustainable strategies. The OPP has commenced a program to reduce the environmental impact of its operations by implementing initiatives that have an immediate environmental payback. Key initiatives that have been undertaken by the OPP during 2007/08 include: • Significant investment in multi-function devices to allow duplex printing (leading to a reduction of more than 25 percent in paper consumption per staff member) • Purchasing A4 paper with minimum 50 per cent recycled content • Refurbishing 400 task and visitor chairs (rather than replacing with new ones)

• Purchasing new dishwashers with minimum four-star water and energy performance • Working with the Department of Treasury and Finance to upgrade the 565 Lonsdale Street building through a $5 million Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project • Training key Facilities Management staff under the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s ResourceSmart Government program. Environmental report for 2007/08 This environmental report covers two Office of Public Prosecutions office locations1, where over 99 per cent of officebased staff members are located. This information has been prepared in accordance with the Financial Reporting Directions issued by the Minister for Finance (FRD24B).

ENERGY 2007/08 Indicator Total energy usage segmented by primary source (MJ)1 Greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use (t CO2-e)2 Percentage of electricity purchased as Green Power Units of energy used per FTE (MJ/FTE)3 Units of energy used per unit of office area (MJ/m2)

2006/07

Electricity

Natural Gas

Green Power

Electricity

Natural Gas

Green Power

1,887,631

1,301,236

159,687

1,445,008

1,261,165

173,397

629

75

0

468

80

0

8%

11%

11,824

12,994

455

411

Notes on energy data 1 Data was provided by Brookfield Multiplex (on behalf of the Department of Treasury and Finance, owner of 565 Lonsdale Street) and Knight Frank (building agent for 575 Bourke Street) and includes tenancy light and power use at both OPP CBD offices. Due to leasing arrangements, base building energy consumption is not reported. 2 The greenhouse gas emissions have been calculated using the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) Factors and Methods Workbook. GreenPower is not included as this is carbon neutral.

100 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

3 The OPP’s FTE as at 30 June 2008 is used for environmental reporting. Actions taken to reduce energy consumption All PCs within 565 Lonsdale Street and 575 Bourke Street have been swapped from CRT to LCD monitors and are programmed to power down to stand by mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

WASTE 2007/08 Indicator

1

Total units of waste disposed of by destination (kg/year)

Landfill

Recycled

Compost

16,834

28,331

1,442

Units of waste disposed of per FTE by destinations (kg/FTE)2

59.4

100.0

5.1

Recycling rate (per cent of total waste)

64%

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal (t CO2-e)

34

Notes on waste data 1 Estimate for the OPP waste was extrapolated from data for 565 Lonsdale Street provided by Brookfield Multiplex staff (on behalf of the Department of Treasury and Finance).

Actions taken to reduce waste consumption The OPP has implemented a process of secure document disposal that enables waste paper to be recycled. Previously, all secure documents were destroyed in such a manner the by-product could not be re-used.

2 The OPP’s FTE as at 30 June 2008 is used for environmental reporting. PAPER Indicator

2007/08

2006/07

8,965

9,722

Units of copy paper used per FTE (reams/FTE)

31.7

43.9

Percentage of 75-100% recycled content copy paper purchased (%)1

12%

Percentage of 50-75% recycled content copy paper purchased (%)1

61%

Percentage of 0-50% recycled content copy paper purchased (%)1

18%

Total units of copy paper used (reams)

Notes on paper usage data 1 Due to a change in supplier accurate benchmark figures for 2006/07 are not available. Actions taken to reduce paper consumption Paper use by staff based within 565 Lonsdale Street and 575 Bourke Street has reduced by over 10 reams per person since 2006/07

– a reduction in excess of 25 per cent. This is due to the introduction of multifunction devices and duplex printing throughout the offices, in addition to a staff education program.

WATER Indicator Total units of metered water consumed by usage types (kilolitres)

1

Units of metered water consumed in offices per FTE (kilolitres/FTE) Units of metered water consumed in offices per unit of office area (kilolitres/m2))

2007/08

2006/07

3,527,104

4,542,210

12,454

20,497

503

648

Notes on water consumption data 1 Data was provided by Jones Lang LaSalle (on behalf of the Department of Treasury and Finance, owner of 565 Lonsdale Street) and Knight Frank (building agent for 575 Bourke Street) and apportioned from total building water consumption by floor area. Actions taken to reduce water consumption • As part of the ongoing upgrade of its building facilities, the OPP has purchased new dishwashers with minimum four-star water and 5 star energy performance.

• The OPP has been working with the Department of Treasury and Finance’s property manager to ensure a rapid response to waterrelated faults. • The OPP has commenced working with the Department of Treasury and Finance to upgrade the 565 Lonsdale Street building through a $5 million Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project.

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 101


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

TRANSPORT 2007/08 Vehicles

2006/07

Executive Operational Operational 6 cylinder 6 cylinder 4 cylinder

Total

All Fleet

Total energy consumption by vehicles (MJ)

588,294

1,257,626

148,336

1,994,256

1,937,659

Total vehicle travel associated with entity operations (km)

152,497

334,859

43,811

531,168

435,821

43

92

11

146

147

0.28

0.27

0.25

0.27

0.34

2007/08

2006/07

83

82

Total greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fleet (t CO2-e) Greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fleet per 1,000km travelled (t CO2-e) Total distance travelled by aeroplane (km)1

Percentage of CBD employees regularly (>75 per cent of work attendance days) using public transport, cycling, walking, or car pooling to and from work or working from home, by locality type2 Notes on transportation data

1 Air travel by all Department of Justice entities, including the OPP, is consolidated by the Department of Treasury and Finance and reported in the Department of Justice annual report. 2 Derived from a survey of OPP employees based in 565 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Actions taken to reduce vehicle emissions • Public transport tickets have been purchased for staff travel to and from external meetings. • Replacement of three 6-cylinder fleet cars with two 4-cylinder cars and a LPG car. • The Victorian Government invests in activities such as tree planting and fuel switching to offset the CO2 emissions from its vehicle fleet. Contracting the supply of offsets for all Victorian Government vehicles is the responsibility of the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Offsetting is done in arrears and is based on actual fuel usage data. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS Indicator

2007/08

Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use (t CO2-e)

703

Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with vehicle fleet (t CO2-e)

146

Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel (t CO2-e)

1

Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste production (t CO2 e)

34

Greenhouse gas emissions offsets purchased (t CO2-e)2 Notes on greenhouse gas emission data 1 A  ir travel by all Department of Justice entities, including the OPP, is consolidated by the Department of Treasury and Finance and reported in the Department of Justice annual report. 2T  he Victorian Government invests in activities such as tree planting and fuel switching to offset the CO2 emissions from its vehicle fleet. Contracting the supply of offsets for all Victorian Government vehicles is the responsibility of the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

102 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 12. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 1. AUDIT COMMITTEE The members of the Audit Committee are listed below. Independent Members R. Elvins – Chairman M. Carter – Non-Executive Member Executive Members M. Hoyle – General Manager, Corporate Services R. Gray – Directorate Manager, Briefing Services and Appeals Audit Committee Charter – Function, Role and Duties of the Audit Committee The role and responsibilities of the Audit Committee and its members are set out in the Audit Committee Charter. The Audit Committee provides advice to the Solicitor to assist in the effective discharge of responsibilities prescribed in the Financial Management Act 1994 and Audit Act 1994 and other relevant legislation. The main responsibilities of the Audit Committee are to: • Review and report independently to the Solicitor and Minister on the annual report and all other financial information published by the Office • Assist the Solicitor in reviewing the effectiveness of the Office’s internal control environment covering:

– effectiveness and efficiency of operations;

– reliability of financial reporting; and

– compliance with applicable laws and regulations

• Determine the scope of the internal audit coverage and ensure that its resources are adequate and used effectively, including coordination with the external auditors • Oversee the effective operation of the risk management framework. 2. CONSULTANCIES Disclosure Statement Summary of consultancies engaged in 2007-08: A. Consultancies with a value greater than $100,000 The table below lists consultants engaged in 2007/08 where the cost of the engagement was $100,000 or above. Consultant L Cohen Consulting

Project

Total approved project fee $’000

Expenditure 2007/08 $’000 (excl GST)

Future expenditure $’000

Advice on organisation transition and implementation

209

202

7

B. Consultancies less than $100,000 Number of engagements 3 Total value of expenditure (excluding GST) $227,491

OPP Annual Report 2007/08 103


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 13. STATEMENT OF AVAILABILITY OF OTHER INFORMATION In compliance with the requirements of the Ministerial Directions of the Minister for Finance, details in respect of the information items listed below have been retained by the Office of Public Prosecutions and are available to the relevant Ministers, Members of Parliament and the public (subject to Freedom of Information requirements, if applicable). However, in adopting best practice disclosure policies and to ensure that the Office of Public Prosecutions discharges its accountability obligations, where relevant, details about some of the following items have been disclosed within this Report of Operations: (a) a statement that declarations of pecuniary interest have been duly completed by all relevant officers of the Office of Public Prosecutions (b) details of shares held by senior officers as nominee or held beneficially in a statutory authority or subsidiary (c) details of publications produced by the Office of Public Prosecutions about its activities and where they can be obtained (d) details of changes in prices, fees, charges, rates and levies charged by the Office of Public Prosecutions for its services, including services that are administered (e) details of any major external reviews carried out in respect of the operation of the Office of Public Prosecutions (f) details of any other research and development activities undertaken by the Office of Public Prosecutions that are not otherwise covered in this Report of Operations or in a document which contains the financial report and Report of Operations (g) details of overseas visits undertaken including a summary of the objectives and outcomes of each visit (h) details of major promotional, public relations and marketing activities undertaken by the Office of Public Prosecutions to develop community awareness of the services provided by the office (i) details of assessments and measures undertaken to improve the occupational health and safety of employees, not otherwise detailed in the Report of Operations (j) a general statement on industrial relations within the Office of Public Prosecutions and details of time lost through industrial accidents and disputes, which is not otherwise detailed in the Report of Operations (k) a list of major committees sponsored by the Office of Public Prosecutions, the purposes of each committee and the extent to which the purposes have been achieved. This information is available from: Projects and Performance Unit Office of Public Prosecutions 565 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Telephone: (03) 9603 7569

104 OPP Annual Report 2007/08


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

APPENDIX 14. DISCLOSURE INDEX The Annual Report of the Office of Public Prosecutions is prepared in accordance with Victorian legislation. This index has been prepared to facilitate identification of the Office’s compliance with statutory disclosure requirements. Legislation

Requirement

Page reference

Ministerial Directions Report of operations – FRD Guidance Charter and Purpose FRD 22B

Manner of establishment and the relevant Ministers

FRD 22B

Objectives, functions, powers and duties

FRD 22B

Nature and range of services provided

11, 80 3, 4, 11, 19 3, 11, 19, 22 – 23

Management and structure FRD 22B

Organisational structure

22 – 23

Financial and other information FRD 22B

Operational and budgetary objectives and performance against objectives

90, 92 – 95

FRD 22B

Statement of workforce data and merit and equity

FRD 22B

Occupational health and safety

99

FRD 15B

Executive officer disclosures

81

FRD 22B

Summary of the financial results for the year

FRD 22B

Major changes or factors affecting performance

FRD 22B

Subsequent events

25 – 60

FRD 22B

Application and operation of Freedom of Information Act 1982

96 – 97

FRD 22B

Application and operation of Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001

FRD 22B

Details of consultancies over $100,000

103

FRD 22B

Details of consultancies under $100,000

103

FRD 24B

Reporting of office-based environmental impacts

FRD 22B

Statement of availability of other information

104

FRD 10

Disclosure index

105

98 – 99

64 25 – 60

97

100 – 102

Financial Statements Financial statement required under Part 7 of the FMA SD 4.2(b)

Operating Statement

65

SD 4.2(b)

Balance Sheet

66

SD 4.2(a)

Statement of changes in equity

67

SD 4.2(b)

Cash flow Statement

67

Other requirements under Standing Directions 4.2 SD 4.2(c)

Accountable officer’s declaration

64, 85

SD 4.2(c)

Compliance with Australian accounting standards and other administrative pronouncements

68, 88

SD 4.2(c)

Compliance with Ministerial Directions

SD 4.2(d)

Rounding of amounts

68 – 70 70

Other disclosures as required by FRDs in notes to the financial statements FRD 21A

Responsible person and executive officer disclosures

81

Legislation Freedom of Information Act 1982

96 – 97

Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 Financial Management Act 1994

97 64, 68, 80, 85, 103

Audit Act 1994

103

FRD is a Financial Reporting Direction issued by the Minister for Finance pursuant to section 8 of the Financial Management Act 1994 and Regulation 16 of the Financial Management Act 2004. Compliance with FRDs is mandatory. SD is a Standing Direction under the Financial Management Act 2004. Compliance with SDs is mandatory. OPP Annual Report 2007/08 105


APPENDICES TO THE OPP ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08 For the financial year ended 30 June 2008

GLOSSARY AND ABBREVIATIONS Accused

 person charged with a crime is called the defendant in a A Magistrates’ Court and the accused in the Supreme Court and the County Court

A-IFRS

 ustralian Equivalent to International Financial Reporting A Standards

Bail

 commitment given to the court to secure the release of A a person being held in custody and suspected of a crime, guaranteeing that the person will appear to answer the charges at a later date

Bar

A professional organisation for lawyers who work as Barristers

Barrister

 lawyer who appears at court, acting for either the A prosecution or the defence

CCTV

Closed-Circuit Television

CJEP

Criminal Justice Enhancement Program

CLE

Continuing Legal Education

Committal hearing

 hearing conducted in a Magistrates’Court to determine A whether there is enough evidence for a trial before a judge and jury

Non-custodial order

 n order made by a court in sentencing a defendant that A does not involve imprisonment

OH&S

Occupational Health and Safety

OPI

 ffice of Police Integrity – Victoria’s independent police O anti-corruption and oversight body

OPP

 ffice of Public Prosecutions – the office consisting of O lawyers and support staff who work for the Director of Public Prosecutions

Plea

An accused person can plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’

Plea hearing

 hearing held before a judge or magistrate (either after A an accused person has been found guilty by a jury or after electing to plead guilty) at which submissions in relation to sentence are made and Victim Impact Statements are given to the court

Police informant

 he police officer in charge of the criminal investigation T and the main contact between police and the victim

PRISM

Prosecution Recording and Information System

Prosecutor

 barrister for the Director of Public Prosecutions who A calls witnesses and presents evidence in court to show that a person is guilty.

QC

 ueen’s Counsel – senior barristers who appear in court Q or advise in particularly complex or difficult cases (replaced by the title of Senior Counsel in 2000)

Restraining order

 court order that can be taken out by the Director A of Public Prosecutions over an offender’s property. A restraining order stops the offender from disposing of the property, preserving it for any future compensation order that might by made by a court.

Conviction

 person is convicted when they are found guilty by a jury A or plead guilty before a judge or magistrate

County Court

 judge presides over this court. It hears serious cases A (indictable offences) and a jury decides the case.

CPSU

Community and Public Sector Union

Crown Prosecutor

 prosecutor who works solely for the Director of Public A Prosecutions

CSA

Child Sexual Assault

Defendant

 person who has been charged with a crime is called the A defendant in a Magistrates’ Court

SC

 enior Counsel – senior barristers who appear in court or S advise in particularly complex or difficult cases

Double jeopardy

 he principle that a person may not be tried or sentenced T twice for the same offence

SD

Standing Direction

Sen Tech Spec

Senior Technical Specialist

Solicitor

A lawyer who prepares a case to go to court

SPP

 olicitor for Public Prosecutions – the head of the Office of S Public Prosecutions

DOJ

Department of Justice (Victoria)

DPP

 irector of Public Prosecutions – the person who is D responsible for prosecuting serious (indictable) offences in Victoria

EO

Executive Officer

SSOU

Specialist Sex Offences Unit

Ethical Standards Department (Victoria Police)

Statutory authority

A body established under an Act of Parliament

Extradition

 he arrest and return of a person wanted for a crime T committed in another state or country

Summary offences

 rimes where the charges against the defendant are heard C in a Magistrates’ Court

FRD

Financial Reporting Direction

Supreme Court

FTE

Full Time Equivalent

 his court is the superior court in Victoria and hears the T most serious cases. The court is divided into two divisions – the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division. The Court of Appeal hears appeals from trials heard by Judges of the Supreme Court and the County Court. The Criminal Division of the Trial Division hears major criminal matters.

Trial

 court hearing held in the County Court or Supreme A Court before a judge and jury

Verdict

 decision given by a jury, which tells the court whether a A person is guilty or not guilty

ESD

High Court of Australia T  he highest court in the Australian judicial system. The functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law of Australia, to decide cases of special federal significance (including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws) and to hear appeals, by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts. HR

Human Resources

Indictable offences

 rimes where the defendant has the right to a trial where C guilt or innocence is determined by a jury

IT

Information Technology

Judgment

 he final order or set of orders made by a judge after a T court hearing

Jury

 group of 12 people who are chosen to decide who is A guilty or not guilty in a County Court or Supreme Court trial

LPS

Legal Prosecution Specialist (a position within the OPP)

Magistrates’ Court

 he court that hears the less serious cases (summary T offences) and does not use a jury

NESB

Non-English Speaking Background

Nolle prosequi

 n application made by the prosecution in a criminal case A to discontinue proceedings

106 OPP Annual Report 2007/08

Victim Impact Statement A statement that can be made by a victim of crime to the court when an offender is being sentenced. The statement informs the court of how the crime has affected the victim and is taken into account by the court when sentencing the offender. VLRC

Victorian Law Reform Commission

WAS

Witness Assistance Service

Witness

 person who appears in a court to tell what he or she A knows about a crime or other event


FINANCIAL REPORT OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS AND APPENDICES* These sections are available on CD in some versions of this report


565 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000 PO Box 13085 Melbourne VIC 8010 DX 210290 T: (03) 9603 7666 F: (03) 9603 7430 E: opp@opp.vic.gov.au www.opp.vic.gov.au


OPP Annual Report 2007-08