The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is a statutory authority made up of the Director and public service employees including lawyers (prosecutors and solicitors), administrative staff and witness assistance officers.

The ODPP is made up of 4 different sections.

The lawyers in this section are known as prosecutors and specialise in running trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

They appear in Court on behalf of the community to present evidence during a trial.

They will also appear in court to make sentencing submissions when the defendant is found guilty after the trial.

Senior lawyers also appear in the Court of Appeal.

The Solicitor Section is the largest section of the ODPP. It includes:

  • 4 general solicitor teams
  • 4 specialist teams (2 Brief Assessment teams, a Vulnerable Witness team and the Circuit team)
  • dedicated Fraud and Drug Court solicitors.

The lawyers in the Brief Assessment team (BAT) are responsible for making initial decisions about whether there is enough evidence to support the charges, and providing advice to SA Police.

Once the BAT team have assessed there is enough evidence to go ahead, the matter is handled by one of the other teams:

  • If the matter involves a child or other vulnerable witness, it will be handled by a lawyer in the Vulnerable Witness team.
  • If it involves an offence that occurred in certain regional areas, it will be handled by the Circuit team.
  • All other matters are handled by one of the general solicitor teams.

All solicitor teams are involved in preparing cases for trial. They also appear in court hearings for pre-trial matters, and sentencing submissions when there is a guilty plea.

Senior lawyers also appear in the Court of Appeal.

Solicitors in the Confiscations Section are responsible for court proceedings to confiscate proceeds of crime, and to seize and confiscate property owned by some drug offenders.

Proceeds from confiscated assets can be paid into the Victims of Crime Fund or the Justice Rehabilitation Fund for the benefit of the community.

The Business Services Section includes the Witness Assistance Service and a number of administrative teams.

Witness Assistance Team (WAT)

Witness Assistance Officers provide information, support and referral services to victims, prosecution witnesses or immediate family members who need assistance to participate in the prosecution process due to the impact of the offending, their age, or other personal circumstances.

Administrative Teams

The administrative teams provide legal support roles including:

  • data entry
  • secretarial services
  • reception
  • rounds
  • law clerk functions.

They also provide essential support to the office including managing human resources, financial services, records, risk, work health and safety, administrative policy and procedure and information management.