Canine Court Companion Project (CCCP)
Implementation of Stage 2 and 3 of the CCCP which aim to provide support to vulnerable victims and witnesses in major indictable matters in a court environment.
Following the successful completion of Stage 1 in the CCCP in which Zero, the court canine companion attended 136 appointments with vulnerable witnesses within the ODPP environment, the ODPP commenced planning for the implementation of Stages 2 and 3 which would result in the extension of Zero’s environment to the courts.
The COVID-19 pandemic, with the requirement for social distancing, resulted in some delays in this planning process, particularly in relation to training both Zero and Zero’s handlers within the new court environment.
In terms of criminal procedure, amendments to the Evidence Act 1929 were proclaimed in March 2021 (the Evidence (Vulnerable Witnesses) Amendment Act (Commencement) Proclamation 2021) which allow for an application to be made for a Court Canine Companion to accompany a vulnerable witness giving evidence.
The development of business models utilising ODPP data and data science to better understand, predict, measure and optimise ODPP resource management and work effort.
In July 2020 the ODPP developed a Case Complexity Model (CCM), in conjunction with Capgemini. The CCM is an objective efficiency tool to manage solicitor workloads, allocate resources and assist in the professional development of legal staff.
In the last quarter of 2020-21, the ODPP and Capgemini completed two further data science projects:
As part of best practice, conduct regular reviews of business processes to ensure currency and efficiency.
During 2020-21, the ODPP finalised reviews of key functions including:
The review of ODPP functions by experienced external parties to provide fresh perspectives on policy, process and efficacy.
During 2020-21, an external review of the Witness Assistance Team was undertaken by AGD Justice Policy and Analytics.
Recommendations from the Review have been considered and prioritised. Projects have commenced for the following:
The remaining recommendations will continue to be implemented throughout 2021-22 when the WAT Manager is appointed.
Commercial Crime and Confiscations
To provide effective and efficient services in relation to the prosecution of criminal matters that require specialised knowledge and experience in financial crime and the confiscation of assets.
In May 2021, the ODPP established a dedicated Commercial Crime and Confiscations team to deal with matters relating to corruption, financial crime, cybercrime and the confiscation of assets.
Staff development opportunities (SAPOL, ICAC and CDPP)
To ensure that ODPP staff are provided with opportunities to develop their legal knowledge and skills as part of their professional development.
In 2020-21, the ODPP partnered with SA Police (SAPOL), the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) to develop training and development opportunities for ODPP legal staff.
Formal agreements with SAPOL and ICAC have been made and agreements with CDPP will be re-visited in late-2021 subject to COVID-19 conditions.
Continued management of the ODPP workforce during the COVID-19 environment to ensure efficiencies of resourcing and wellbeing of staff.
The program first implemented in March 2020 to facilitate the maximum availability for work from home opportunities for legal staff continued into 2020-21 as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns across the State.
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- The court process
- Supporting witnesses and victims
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