God save the … er, DPP

Late last year Attorney-General Rob Hulls announced that they would be dropping the reference to the Queen in all criminal prosecutions. Cases are now to be brought in the name of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He’s received legal advice that bringing indictments in the name of the DPP will have no constitutional effect. Similar changes have already occurred in Western Australia and Tasmania.

I suppose the biggest practical effect is that it is easier to identify whether a case was brought prior to 2010 without referring to its full citation, but harder to differentiate trials from summary appeals.

In the Magistrates’ Court criminal prosecutions will continue to be brought in the name of the informant. AustLII have struggled with a consistent format for cases from the summary jurisdiction, probably due to the variety of sources they’re getting the decisions from.

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