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The Director of Public Prosecutions (Cth) Raelene Sharp KC confirmed that on 1 June 2024, Warren Day will join the CDPP on secondment for 6 months, as the Director’s Executive Officer. 

On 5 March 2024, CDPP staff acknowledged the 40 year anniversary of the Office being established.

The CDPP’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2024-26 is now available.

The CDPP has launched a range of branded cultural elements which were designed by

Federal Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, today announced the appointment of Ms Raelene Sharp KC as the next Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
The CDPP 2022-23 Annual Report was tabled in Parliament on 18 October 2023.

The CDPP’s Corporate Plan 2023–27 is now available.

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 Ser

Drug Possession

Drug possession generally applies where a person has physical custody or control over the drug or has the drugs in a place that gives them the right, power or ability to take them into their custody.

For example, a person would be in possession of drugs if they:

  • received or obtain possession of the drugs
  • have some degree of control over the disposition of the drugs, whether or not the drugs are within that person’s custody
  • have sole or joint possession of the drugs.

Drug possession categories

Commonwealth drug possession offences can be divided into two categories:

  • Category 1: Border controlled drugs or plants that have been unlawfully imported or are reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported, and
  • Category 2: ‘Simple’/domestic possession offences with no link to importation. These include possessing controlled drugs or precursors together with offences relating to the possession of equipment and instructions for commercial cultivation of plants or the commercial manufacture of drugs.

The ‘simple’ or ‘base’ possession offence in section 308.1 of the Criminal Code is also available as an alternative verdict to a number of other offences.

When imported drugs or precursors are detected at the border the illicit substance is often substituted substituted with an inert substance. An offender who subsequently takes delivery of the inert substance is likely to face a charge of attempting to possess the illicit substance. Penalties for the offence of ‘attempt’ are the same as for the completed offence.

Key legislation

Main offences

  • s.307.5(1) Criminal Code—possessing commercial quantities of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs or plants
  • s.11.5 & s.307.5(1) Criminal Code—attempt to possess commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs or plants
  • s.307.10(1) Criminal Code—possessing border controlled drugs or plants reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported
  • s.308.1 Criminal Code—possessing controlled drugs
  • s.308.2 Criminal Code—possessing controlled precursors.

Penalties

The maximum penalties for possessing unlawfully imported border controlled drugs or plants are:

  • life imprisonment for possessing commercial quantities of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs or plants (s.307.5 Criminal Code)
  • 25 years’ imprisonment for possessing marketable quantities of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs or plants (s.307.6 Criminal Code)
  • 2 years’ imprisonment for possessing unlawfully imported border controlled drugs or plants (s.307.7 Criminal Code).

The maximum penalties for possessing border controlled drugs or plants reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported are:

  • life imprisonment for possessing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs or plants reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported (s.307.8 Criminal Code)
  • 25 years’ imprisonment for possessing marketable quantities of border controlled drugs or plants reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported (s.307.9 Criminal Code)
  • 2 years’ imprisonment for possessing border controlled drugs or plants reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported (s.301.10 Criminal Code).

The maximum penalty for possessing controlled drugs (s.308.1) or controlled precursors (s.308.2) is 2 years’ imprisonment.

Partner agencies

Relevant Legislation