Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    $24.3million funding boost for DPP

    31/10/2005 12:00 AM

    The Director of Public Prosecutions will employ an additional 42 prosecutors after receiving a $24.3million funding boost from the State Government.

    The Attorney General said the significant funding increase would ensure criminals were brought to justice and the needs of victims of crime were recognised by the judicial system.

    Mr McGinty said the additional staff would provide the DPP with the resources to prepare and present cases more effectively, which would lead to more successful trial outcomes.

    “The funding will see the number of prosecutors at the DPP increase from 63 to 105, which will allow cases to be managed more effectively,” Mr McGinty said.

    “This will reduce the number of trial delays and clear the backlog of cases in the courts, creating a more efficient judicial system.”

    The DPP’s 2005-06 budget of $14.4million will rise by $3.8million to $18.2million. The Government will also provide the DPP with an additional capital grant of $428,000.

    Next year’s budget will rise by $6.6million from $15.1million to $21.8million.

    The $24.3million funding boost will also:
    • provide better support to victims of crime and witnesses, which will increase the effectiveness of trials;
    • improve case management, which will reduce the number of cases that proceed in higher courts as more early opportunities for guilty pleas are detected;
    • reduce the number of late adjournments, as more indictments will be filed on time with the courts;
    • improve staff morale and reduce prosecutor fatigue from heavy workloads;
    • reduce the number of cases briefed out to external counsel by 18 per cent; and
    • increase the rate of pay to private barristers who accept DPP briefs, ensuring the best-qualified prosecutors are employed by the DPP.
    The Attorney General said the Government would also allow the Confiscations Unit to be fully funded from the Confiscations Proceeds Account.

    “This will increase the unit’s funding by $229,000 to $1.3million this year and by $361,000 to $1.5million in following years,” Mr McGinty said.

    “The unit will now be able to employ an additional lawyer and two paralegals, further strengthening the unit’s powers to pursue criminals who have profited from their crimes.”

    Mr McGinty said a working party had been set up last year with the Department of Treasury and Finance to resolve the financial issues the DPP was facing last year.

    “We recognised there was a need for more funding at the DPP’s office and promptly established a review to identify what level of funding was needed,” he said.

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