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NSW Australian Law - Police Prosecutor Obligated to Inform Complainant?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by TKC, 6 February 2016.

  1. TKC

    TKC Well-Known Member

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    The police prosecutor whom represented the carriage of a criminal matter and initially won a guilty verdict is then informed that the verdict has been quashed on appeal. Does the prosecutor have a legal obligation under Australian Law to inform the complainant that the verdict no longer stands, or is it just a professional courtesy?
     
  2. Ponala

    Ponala Well-Known Member

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    No
     
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  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    No duty.
    Not even a professional courtesy.

    What's happened?
     
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  4. TKC

    TKC Well-Known Member

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    Cheers, Ponala.

    Tim W, nothing specific has occurred, it's just that most comments relating to professional standards originate from apprehended domestic violence matters and sexual violence cases, and I was interested in learning how clear and extensive those rules are. However, I understand that a prosecutor would only ever liaise with the informant in conveying such information to the complainant, were the complainant to have been particularly sensitive about any criminal proceedings in there being a fear of reprisals from the defendant, for instance.
     
  5. Mary W

    Mary W Well-Known Member

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    Hi TKC,

    The situation isn't quite as clear cut as you suggest. Depending on the nature of the offence and what stage of proceedings it has reached, it might be solicitors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who handle the matter, not a Police Prosecutor. It is usually the DPP that handles an appeal.

    In some situations you might look to the officer in charge of the case to provide information to the complainant, not the prosecutor.

    I don't know whether a police prosecutor would even be told that a conviction has been quashed on appeal.
     
  6. TKC

    TKC Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mary,

    I wasn't disputing the "ownership" of the matter at the appeal stage, hence, why I stated that the police prosecutor (PP) is informed of the quashed outcome, in my original post. I mean he/she wouldn't necessarily inform him/herself.

    I believe the ODPP handles most if not all appeals in NSW, however, my question concerned professional standards of the PP, which Tim allowed me to draw out through his question.

    Of course a PP would be told of a quashed conviction, it would be his/her case that is essentially lost or overturned, so don't you think he/she would want to know that, and don't you think that there are established education/training policies in place, which go over with the PP, where the weakness was found by the appellant in arguing a particular line to achieve such a favourable outcome as to have had the conviction quashed?

    Just like in any hierarchy of authority, such critical information is passed down along the chain-of-command. It must be. And to think that it isn't is just naive thinking, I would suggest.

    To my understanding such details would, therefore, go from, ODPP --> PP --> informant --> complainant.
     

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