DPP congratulates new Court of Appeal , Crown Prosecutor appointees

Senior Crown Prosecutor Chris Boyce KC has today been appointed as a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd KC, Chief Crown Prosecutor Brendan Kissane KC, and the OPP congratulate Mr Boyce on his appointment.

The DPP, the CCP and the OPP also congratulate Justin Lewis on his appointment as a Senior Crown Prosecutor, and welcome Penelope Thorp and Raphael de Vietri as Victoria’s newest Crown Prosecutors.

Mr Boyce was appointed as a Senior Crown Prosecutor in 2016.  Prior to joining Crown Chambers, he was a highly regarded member of the Victorian Bar.

Mr Boyce goes to the bench with extensive experience in appellate criminal law, and is widely regarded as one of Victoria’s leading advocates in that field.

Ms Judd said Mr Boyce had been an integral member of Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers in providing advice and counsel, and will be an asset to the Court of Appeal.

‘This appointment is good for the administration of justice in Victoria, and a recognition of the exceptional calibre of advocates working within Crown Chambers,’ Ms Judd said.

Mr Boyce has appeared for the Crown in some of Victoria’s highest profile recent appellate decisions, including Cardinal George Pell’s Court of Appeal conviction appeal, and in important cases with significant implications for the criminal law in Victoria.

As a Senior Crown Prosecutor, Mr Boyce appeared for the Crown in the 2022 Victorian Court of Appeal case of Vinaccia v The Queen, a significant decision recognising the probative value of forensic evidence of the ‘triad injuries’ in child homicide cases.  The appellant’s subsequent application for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia was refused in 2023.

In 2018, Mr Boyce also appeared for the Crown in R v Falzon, an important High Court case about the use of cash seizures in drug trafficking prosecutions to prove intent to sell.

Mr Lewis was appointed as a Crown Prosecutor in 2014, after more than a decade at the Bar.  He is a highly skilled and diligent prosecutor, who has extensive criminal trial experience.  Mr Lewis also regularly appears for the Crown in the Court of Appeal in complex and difficult matters.

In 2023, Mr Lewis appeared for the Crown in the high-profile County Court trial of Director of Public Prosecutions v Malka Leifer.

Ms Judd said that Mr Lewis will bring significant expertise and talent to his new role.

‘As a Senior Crown Prosecutor, Mr Lewis will provide significant support to his colleagues in Crown Chambers,’ Mr Kissane said.

Mr Lewis’ appointment fills a position left vacant following Mark Rochford KC’s retirement in July 2023.

Ms Thorp started her legal career at the OPP in 2001.  She went to the Bar in 2007, and has extensive experience in prosecuting criminal trials, pleas and committals.

Mr de Vietri went to the Bar in 2020, after almost a decade as a solicitor working in both criminal defence and prosecution.   Between 2015 and 2020, prior to coming to the Bar, he was a senior advocate at Victoria Legal Aid.

Mr Kissane said both Mr de Vietri and Ms Thorp will bring considerable experience to their new roles, and would be assets to Crown Chambers.

Ms Judd said she was looking forward to each of them appearing on her behalf in the more complex criminal prosecutions.

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