Latest News

The CDPP recently received an overall satisfaction score of 86 per cent from its biennial 2022 Partner Agency Survey.

The CDPP's 2022-26 Corporate Plan is now available.

The Attorney-General of New South Wales today announced the appointment of Ms Sarah McNaughton SC as a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW. 

The CDPP’s Library and Research Services team has won the 2022 Legal Information Service of the Year award announced at the Australian Law Librarians’ Association (ALLA) conference in Hobart on Thursday 26 August.

On 7 July 2022 the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Honourable Mark Dreyfus QC MP, announced he had declined to proceed further in the prosecution of Mr Bernard Collaery for five offences relating to the alleged unlawful communication of ASIS information contrary to the Intelligence Services

On 11 February 2022, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Ms Sarah McNaughton SC announced her decision to decline to proceed further in the criminal prosecutions of Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited, Deutsche Bank AG and four senior banking executives for cartel offences

The CDPP 2020-21 Annual Report was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday 20 October 2021. 

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton SC, has been extended in the role for a further two years.

The CDPP has launched a new Partner Agency Portal, giving investigators from partner agencies easy and timely access to information.
The last 12 months has tested businesses, including the CDPP, to become more agile to effectively deliver services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) is an independent prosecution service established by Parliament under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (Cth) to prosecute alleged offences against Commonwealth law.

The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is warning members of the community to beware of scammers claiming to be from the CDPP.
The CDPP’s Partner Agencies will soon have access to a refreshed, scalable and dynamic, secure website to support their investigative work.

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

A 24-year-old Sydney man has been jailed for nine years and four months after he posed as a teen to exploit and extort explicit images from children online.

Note: This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

A serial paedophile who abused children in Australia and Southeast Asia has today been sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 28 years.

On 7 November 2019, Richard Ham (21) and Soo Lee (24) were sentenced in the District Court of New South Wales after pleading guilty to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly known as ‘ecstasy’.

Today, Perth woman Alesha Stopforth (30) was sentenced in the District Court of Western Australia to 3 years imprisonment, to be released after serving 16 months upon entering into a Recognisance Order in the amount of $10,000 and to be of good behaviour for a period of 20 months, after pleading

Suzanne Akkari (25) was today sentenced to 18 months imprisonment to be released forthwith on a recognisance of $500 and to be of good behaviour for 18 months, after pleading guilty to a charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring another in the arrangement of a marriage to obtain perman

Today*, Savas Avan (49) was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to 3 years imprisonment, after pleading guilty to mailing packages containing asbestos to consulates and embassies in Melbourne and Canberra.

Today, Luke Borg (36) was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria after pleading guilty to a number of child sex offences.

A man from Sydney was today sentenced to a total term of imprisonment of 34 years, with a non-parole period of 29 years, for preparing and planning a terrorist attack, threatening to kill the NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services and for an attack on an inmate in custody.

Three Victorian men were today sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria for the offence of engaging in a terrorist act.  A jury had earlier found the men guilty of this crime by setting fire to a Shia mosque in suburban Melbourne, causing $1.5 million in damage.

The Victorian County Court has today sentenced Mohamed Osman Omar (36), to four years imprisonment, after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of more than $370,000, and attempting to obtain a further amount of more than $85,000.

Talaiha Inia was today sentenced to two years and nine months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to lodging false Medicare benefit claims valued at $224,986.80.

Child Exploitation

The exploitation of children has been facilitated and enhanced by the availability of the internet. 

Offences targeting those who exploit children via services such as the internet, telephone and the post are contained in Commonwealth legislation. There are a number of serious offences involving use of these telecommunications services including; an adult engaging in sexual activity with a child under 16, an adult procuring and grooming a child under 16 for sexual activity, and a person transmitting, accessing and soliciting child abuse or child pornography material of a child under 18 years.

Offences are also committed by Australians against children who are living overseas. This can be in circumstances where the offender travels overseas to engage in sexual activity or where the offences occur over the internet through sexual acts online, The transmission of material or where children are procured and groomed.

A large proportion of this work involves victims, particularly child victims. Prosecutors in this area work closely with investigators and our Witness Assistance Service to ensure that victims are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect. The CDPP Victims of Crime Policy sets out an important framework for engaging with victims of crime and their families, where appropriate.

Telecommunications

The offences in the Criminal Code (Cth) include sexual activity which occurs remotely using technology such as live web-cam and peer-to-peer networks and by causing a child to engage in sexual activity with another person. Telecommunications based child exploitation offences also cover the range of activities a person can engage in when using the internet, mobile phones and other applications to deal with child pornography and child abuse material. These activities include viewing, copying, downloading, sending, exchanging, soliciting and making material available to others.

Grooming and procuring

Grooming and procuring offences are targeted at offenders who use the anonymity of the internet to win the trust of a child as a first step to future sexual abuse or physical harm of the child and to allow law enforcement to intervene before a child is actually assaulted.

Increasing sophistication

Offences are increasingly becoming more sophisticated through the use of networks to distribute material, encryption and online access. Cases can involve hundreds of thousands of depraved and disturbing images of children and the scale and seriousness of this industry poses challenges for investigation and prosecution. 

Dealing with such material requires investigators, prosecutors and courts to deal with chat logs, images, videos and written material of a disturbing nature involving exploitation and harm to children.

Key legislation

Prosecuting child exploitation

The vulnerable witness protections available in the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) exist to help to ensure that vulnerable witnesses including child victims are able to give their best evidence. Prosecuting these offences often involves complex technical and evidentiary issues. We work closely with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and State and Territory Police Forces Where offences against State and Territory criminal law are closely associated with the offending CDPP there are arrangements whereby CDPP also prosecutes these offences. Where offences apply to juvenile offenders, special considerations apply to decisions to prosecute charges against persons aged under 18.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse consulted with CDPP and other offices of Public Prosecutions regarding decision making processes for child sex matters. CDPP reviewed guidelines into how certain critical decisions should be made. (Practice Group Instruction HEBP-07) Our policies regarding victims of crime and prosecutions of these offences have also been considered in light of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

Child sex offences outside Australia

Division 272 of the Criminal Code focuses on child sex offences committed outside Australia by Australian citizens and permanent residents, ranging from possessing child pornography and child abuse material, to engaging in sexual activity with children overseas. Division 474 offences may also apply where the technology is used to enable the offence to occur remotely.

It is also an offence to encourage or benefit from these types of offences or to do an act preparing or planning to commit a sex offence against a child overseas. It is an offence for certain offenders with reporting obligations under child protection offender registers to travel overseas without permission.

Main offences

  • s 272.8 and s 272.9 Criminal Code Sexual intercourse/ sexual activity with child outside Australia
  • s 474.25A Criminal Code Using carriage service for sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age
  • s.474.19(1) Criminal Code—use carriage service for child pornography material (material regarding child under 18 years of age)
  • s.474.26(1) Criminal Code—use carriage service to procure person under 16 years of age
  • s.474.27A(1) Criminal Code—use carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age
  • s.233BAB(5) Customs Act 1901—importation of tier 2 goods.

Penalties

High maximum penalties for some offences reflect the community’s abhorrence of the exploitation of children. Maximum penalties range from 25 years’ imprisonment for Persistent sexual abuse of a child outside Australia - s. 272.11; 15 years’ imprisonment for Accessing child pornography material of a person aged under 18, to 7 years’ imprisonment for using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age.

There are higher maximum penalties for aggravated offences, such as where the offending conduct takes place on three or more occasions and involves two or more people, or where the sexual activity involves a child with a mental impairment or a child who is under the care, supervision or authority of the defendant.

  • DPP (Cth) v Beattie [2017] NSWCCA 301
  • R v De Leeuw [2015] NSWCCA 183
  • R v Leask [2013] WASCA 243
  • DPP (Cth) v D’Alessandro [2010] VSCA 60

National Legal Directions

Relevant CDPP policies

Partner agencies