DPP response to conflict of interest

In relation to recent allegations aired in the media on 26 July 2023, the assertions are factually incorrect.

The DPP did not have a conflict of interest as asserted. The DPP has never acted for Simon Overland in any personal capacity and has in fact never met him. Recent media coverage refers to a 2010 coronial proceeding in which the DPP, as a member of the Bar, represented the Chief Commissioner of Police as the head of Victoria Police.  It is common for the Chief Commissioner of Police to be a named party to legal proceedings involving Victoria Police. This does not mean instructions are sought from and provided by the Chief Commissioner of the day. The then-Chief Commissioner was not a party to that 2010 coronial proceeding in any personal capacity.

The DPP has never received a brief of evidence from the OSI against Simon Overland. The DPP has not ever met or acted for any of the individual police officers the subject of the OSI’s brief of evidence in which a special decision was made that there were no reasonable prospects of conviction. This brief was in respect of a charge for conduct that spanned a few days and was not a charge in relation to the entirety of the conduct that was subject to the Royal Commission.

On 26 May 2023, the DPP requested any further brief of evidence to be provided expeditiously. The OSI provided no further briefs of evidence to the DPP for consideration.

The DPP and OPP regularly give advice and prosecute matters in which the accused are police officers. The OPP has conflict of interest procedures to ensure that file allocation, decision making and access to material is not compromised.

As previously stated in the Director’s response to the OSI’s Special Report, any further briefs submitted by the OSI would have been considered on their merits.

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