Victorian barrister appointed as new Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

She has a strong criminal law practice and has acted for CDPP in many complex cases

Victorian barrister appointed as new Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced the appointment of Victorian barrister Raelene Sharp KC as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

Sharp has a strong criminal law practice and has appeared for the CDPP in many complex and sensitive cases. The CDPP is an independent prosecution service established by parliament in 1984 to prosecute alleged offences against Commonwealth law. The CDPP operates independently of the Attorney-General and the political process.

Sharp has been a barrister at the Victorian bar since 2010. She specialises in administrative, regulatory, criminal, and appellate criminal law. She holds an Indictable Crime Certificate and has advised government and private clients with the investigation and prosecution of criminal, disciplinary, and regulatory matters.

Sharp began her legal career working as an articled clerk at the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions, where she worked between 2000 and 2004. In 2004, she joined the Australian Crime Commission as a legal officer. Sharp also worked as a legal officer with the United Nations in Lebanon for two and a half years.

Sharp has broad public law experience as counsel in public law litigation and through her work with the Office of the Special Investigator and the Australian Crime Commission. She had also worked as counsel assisting the special investigator appointed to investigate possible breaches of the laws of armed conflict allegedly committed by members of the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2016.   She was appointed to the role of senior counsel in 2022.

“I congratulate Ms Sharp on her appointment and thank her for taking on this important role,” Dreyfus said. “I also thank Mr Scott Bruckard PSM for acting as director while the appointment process was undertaken.”

Sharp’s five-year term will commence on December 4. She was appointed following a transparent and merit-based selection process. She will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the former CDPP, Sarah McNaughton, as a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

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