Crown prosecutor (Australia)

Crown prosecutors are the public prosecutors in the legal system of Australia.[1] In Western Australia, they are referred to as State prosecutors.[2]

Crown prosecutors represent the Crown in right of the Commonwealth and in right of each state[3] or Territory in criminal proceedings. Crown prosecutors are appointed not elected[4] and are not public servants; they are private counsel briefed by the Director of Public Prosecutions for particular cases. Their mixed caseload as prosecutor and defence counsel, with the consequent ability to see both sides, is widely seen as an advantage of the system.

Both the Commonwealth of Australia and the states and territories can make criminal laws under the Constitution of Australia, so Crown prosecutors deal with both state and federal offences. The typical Crown prosecutor, often a Queen's Counsel or Senior Counsel, will have extensive experience as defence counsel as well as prosecuting counsel.

See also


  1. "Glossary of Legal Terms". Attending Court. Federal Court of Australia. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  2. "Statement of Prosecution Policy and Guidelines 2018" (PDF). Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. p. 3.
  3. "The role of the prosecutor". Department of Justice and Attorney-General. Queensland Government. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  4. "Silbert appointed chief Crown prosecutor". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
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