Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) Solicitor Advocates are inhouse prosecutors who have undertaken dedicated advocacy training and who appear in court to prosecute a variety of hearings on a daily basis. They are an integral part of the OPP Legal Practice.

Solicitor Advocates have a wide range of experience allowing skills to be tailored to a range of matters of varying complexity. They appear in court mainly for committal mentions, bail applications, guilty pleas, appeals and committals. In addition principal advocates under the OPP Advocacy Hearing Framework may prosecute less complex trials.

Developing the role of Solicitor Advocates within the OPP:

  • ensures effective and efficient use of OPP resources in delivering just outcomes to the community
  • increases the pool of highly skilled prosecutors available
  • provides engaging and challenging work for OPP solicitors
  • attracts and retains the best advocates
  • facilitates early resolution.

Advocacy Competency Framework

In a first for an Australian prosecution service, the OPP has developed an Advocacy Competency Framework setting out the expertise and standards expected of all Solicitor Advocates.

The five key competencies to assist with meeting and maintaining advocacy standards, defined in the framework are:

  • professional behaviours and ethics
  • knowledge of the law/analysis
  • preparation
  • advocacy skills
  • adherence to DPP policy/instruction.

A comprehensive, ongoing training and assessment program has also been developed to ensure consistently high advocacy standards across the OPP’s legal practice.