The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants has today published a submission by Mr Douglas Drummond QC. Contrary to the statements in Mr Drummond QC’s submission, the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions are, and have always been, carried out independently of Victoria Police and the Attorney-General of Victoria. The independence of the Director’s office expressly underpinned the introduction of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 and its predecessor, the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1982.
While briefs of evidence are generally prepared by investigative agencies such as Victoria Police, the Director’s decisions in respect of prosecutions arising from those briefs of evidence are made independently of the investigative agency.
As made clear by section 10(2) of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994, the Director’s responsibility to the Attorney-General for the due performance of the Director’s functions in no way affects or takes away from the Director’s independence in prosecutorial decision-making.
Prosecutorial decisions are made on the basis of clearly stated criteria set out in the Policy of the Director of Public Prosecutions. I strongly reject the suggestion by Mr Drummond QC that such decisions are in any way influenced by political considerations. Such a suggestion is fundamentally inconsistent with the Director’s role and the statutory framework under which the office of the Director is established.
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