Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Law Reform

Law Reform

As the CDPP is responsible for the conduct of prosecutions against the laws of the Commonwealth in all Australian jurisdictions, we are in a unique position to provide feedback to policy formulators and law-makers about the operation of Commonwealth criminal law and our experience working with these laws in the courts.

We contribute to law reform in the following ways:

  • commenting on legislative proposals;
  • raising practical issues with criminal laws that may require consideration for legislative amendment;
  • contributing to reviews;
  • considering and commenting on discussion papers;
  • making submissions to and appearing before Parliamentary Committees; and
  • maintaining liaison relationships with Government departments and agencies.

While we do not develop Commonwealth criminal law policy, we do have an interest in ensuring that Commonwealth criminal law is clear and consistent and it is with this in mind that we provide advice to other agencies about the practical implications of existing legislation, new policy proposals and proposed legislation.  The CDPP also provides input to State and Territory law reform proposals that may impact upon the prosecution of Commonwealth criminal offences.

The CDPP’s input on legislative reform is facilitated by a close working relationship with AGD, in particular with the Criminal Justice Division and the National Security Law and Policy Division.  It is also facilitated by close liaison relationships with the Commonwealth departments and agencies which investigate Commonwealth offences or develop legislative proposals.

Where we identify deficiencies in laws or aspects of laws that in our view should be clarified, these are brought to the attention of AGD or the department or agency that has responsibility for the administration of the legislation involved.  The CDPP may also raise possible legislative changes for consideration.