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The 2021-22 CDPP Annual Report was tabled in Parliament on Friday 28 October 20

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. 

People Smuggling

People smuggling involves organising and assisting in bringing people to Australia who are not Australian citizens and who do not have valid visas to travel here.

This often involves long and perilous journeys to Australia in overcrowded and rudimentary vessels that are dangerous for the people on board and which may result in the loss of lives. Vessels generally head towards the Australian territories of Christmas Island or Ashmore Reef, rather than attempting to reach the Australian mainland.

Offences for smuggling people into Australia are contained in the Migration Act 1958 and apply to both the organisers of these ventures and the crew of the vessels. There are also ancillary offences such as concealing a person who has illegally entered or intends to enter Australia and false documents in relation to a non-citizen. Some of these offences carry mandatory minimum penalties, such as an offence of aggravated people smuggling (section 233C of the Migration Act 1958) which is committed when a person organises or assists in bringing 5 or more non-citizens without valid visas to Australia.

Main Offences

  • s.233A Migration Act 1958 – offence of people smuggling
  • s.233C Migration Act 1958 – aggravated offence of people smuggling (at least 5 people)
  • s.233B Migration Act 1958 – aggravated offence of people smuggling (exploitation, or danger of death or serious harm etc.).


People smuggling offences carry significant maximum terms of imprisonment and mandatory minimum sentences apply to certain offences including section 233C of the Migration Act 1958. The maximum penalty for an offence of people smuggling pursuant to section 233A is 10 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for an offence of aggravated people smuggling pursuant to sections 233C or 233B is 20 years imprisonment. Section 236A provides that the court may not make an order under section 19B of the Crimes Act (a non-conviction order) in respect of a charge for an offence under section 233C or 233B, unless it is established on the balance of probabilities that the person charged was aged under 18 years at the time that the offence was alleged to have been committed. Section 236B applies if a person is convicted of an offence under sections 233C or 233B, unless it is established on the balance of probabilities that they were aged under 18 years when the offence was committed. It provides that, if the conviction is for a repeat offence, the court must impose a sentence of imprisonment of at least 8 years, with a non-parole period of at least 5 years. In other cases, the court must impose a minimum sentence of 5 years, with a minimum non-parole period of 3 years.

Significant Cases

  • Ahmadi v R [2011] WASCA 237
  • Magaming v R [2013] HCA 40
  • Payara v R [2012] VSCA 146
  • R v Ahmad [2012] NTCCA 1
  • Bahar, Abdullah & Anto v R [2011] WASCA 249

Key Legislation

Practice Group Instructions (PGI)

PGI HEBP No. 1 – Prosecution of juveniles for people smuggling offences

PGI HEBP No. 4 – Age Determination in People Smuggling Prosecutions

PGI HEBP No. 5 – Bail in Adult Crew People Smuggling Prosecutions

Partner Agencies