Director of Public Prosecutions

Review, feedback and complaint policy

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is dedicated to the provision of an independent, professional and efficient criminal prosecutions service to all Territorians.

Fundamental to achieving our goals is the need to be respectful of the needs of victims, witnesses and to the interest of the community. This can only be achieved if we consider the needs of our clients and address areas where we can improve our service.

This policy allows the community to provide feedback on what we did well and what we could do better. The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions strives to uphold the principles of the Northern Territory Charter of Victims’ Rights .

Definitions

Review

  • Request for a review of a decision to discontinue charge(s)
  • Request for a review of a decision to proceed with a substantially different charge
  • Request for a review of a decision to file a No True Bill (section 297A of the Criminal Code).

Feedback

Feedback can be any information or comment in relation to what we did well or what we could do better. Our staff are dedicated to providing a quality service and improving outcomes for the community. Constructive criticism is welcomed and provides us with the ability to improve our services.

Complaints

Complaints for the purposes of this policy may be about:

  • The level of engagement or consultation by our staff; and/or
  • Allegations of conflict of interest or perceived bias; and/or
  • Allegations of inappropriate conduct by DPP staff, and/or
  • The level of service provided by this office.

How reviews are processed

Review processes

If, after discussing the matter with the prosecutor handling the matter, a victim wishes to request an official review, the following processes apply.

Requests for review will be undertaken by a senior prosecutor without prior knowledge of the matter. If the senior prosecutor disagrees with the original decision, it will be referred to the Deputy Director for further consideration and a decision.

If the victim is still not satisfied, a request can be made to have the review escalated to the Director. All decisions by the Director are final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

In the absence of a request for a review, decisions not to prosecute or to prosecute a different charge, may have already been considered by the Deputy Director or Director. In these instances, a victim can request an explanation from the Deputy Director or Director however, a further review will not be undertaken.

Feedback and complaint processes

Regardless of whether you are providing feedback or lodging complaints, the more detailed and specific information provided, the more accurately we can respond.

Feedback on our performance or suggestions regarding improvements to our service will not ordinarily receive a response.

Complaints will be responded to as soon as practicable. Complaints that require a more formal investigation may take longer to resolve.

If a complainant so desires, a response can be provided in writing. Contact details are required for all complaints requiring a response.

In the interest of natural justice, any staff member/s who are the subject of a specific complaint, will be provided details of the complaint and have the opportunity to respond. Their response will be considered as part of the process.

While every effort will be made to satisfactorily address complaints, if you are not satisfied with the response received from this office, you may wish to seek further advice by contacting the most appropriate organisation from the following:

How to request a review

It is recognised that there will be times when a victim may be unhappy with a decision not to prosecute or to pursue a substantially different charge. All victims have the right to have these decisions reviewed.

Prior to requesting a review, victims can discuss their concerns with the prosecutor handling the matter. If a victim still wishes to request a review, this can be done in person, over the phone or in writing. All requests for a review will be treated sensitively.

Requests for a review should be made promptly as, in some cases, the continuation of court proceedings is dependent on the outcome of the review.

If a request for review is received after charges have been formally withdrawn before the Court, or a plea to a substantially different charge has been entered, that decision cannot be reversed. It is therefore vital that a request for a review be made as soon as possible. If a review is not possible as indicated above, the victim will be advised of the reasons for the initial decision if requested.

Requests for a review can be made by a victim of an offence, which term includes:

  • Family members or partner if the victim is deceased;
  • Parent/Guardian of a victim under the age of 18;
  • Legal Guardian of a victim;
  • Support person as recognised by the victim.

Requests for a review by persons who are not victims will not be considered.

A Review can be lodged by the following methods:

Online via Request for a Review

A hard copy of the form can be located here Request for a Review form PDF (295.0 KB)

In person at Level 3, Old Admiralty Tower, 68 The Esplanade, Darwin City.

Via post addressed to:

Director of Public Prosecutions - Feedback and Complaints
GPO Box 3321
DARWIN NT 0801

How to provide feedback and lodge complaints

How to provide feedback and lodge complaints

Feedback and Complaints can be provided in person, over the phone or in writing. All Feedback and Complaints will be treated sensitively. The DPP will not request further information or details regarding complaints so it is important to ensure all relevant information is provided at the time of lodgement. Responses will only be in relation to the facts provided.

Feedback and Complaints can be lodged by the following methods:

Online via Feedback and complaints.

In person at Level 3, Old Admiralty Tower, 68 The Esplanade, Darwin City.

Via post addressed to:

Director of Public Prosecutions - Feedback and Complaints
GPO Box 3321
DARWIN NT 0801