Attorney General’s Department of NSW
The Hon Bob Debus, MP
Minister for the Environment
Level 36, Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
Sydney NSW 2000
I have pleasure in presenting the annual report of the NSW Attorney General‘s Department for
the year 2002 – 2003. The report has been prepared in accordance with the Annual Reports (Departments) Act 1985 (NSW) and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (NSW) for presentation to Parliament. This year has seen significant achievement, particularly in the areas of court performance; the expansion of crime prevention programs; the development of initiatives to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people who come into contact with the justice system; the delivery of electronic services for the community; and the use of information technology in transforming the Department‘s business processes. I look forward to working with staff and members of the judiciary in building on these achievements in the coming year. Yours faithfully
Attorney General‘s Department of NSW
Goodsell Building, 8–12 Chifley Square, Sydney, NSW 2000
GPO Box 6, Sydney NSW 2001
The annual report is available on the Department‘s website and we can provide it in alternative formats, such as braille, audiotape, large print or computer disk. Please contact Executive & Strategic Services for more information on tel: (02) 9228 8460, TTY: (02) 9228 7733. For general inquiries and customer feedback, please contact the Community Relations Division on tel: (02) 9228 7484, fax: (02) 9228 8608, TTY: (02) 9228 7676, customer feedback freecall: 1800 684 449 or our website: www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/crd
ISSN 1320 0607
About the Department
The Attorney General‘s Department assists the NSW Government, Judiciary, Parliament and the
community to promote social harmony through programs that protect human rights, community standards and reduce crime.
The Department plays a key role in the administration and development of a just and equitable legal system of courts, tribunals, laws and other mechanisms that further the principles of justice and contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Government.
We assist the NSW Attorney General in his role as the First Law Officer of the State, along with support services to enable his legislative and advisory responsibilities to Parliament and Cabinet to be carried out.
Role of the Attorney General
The Hon Bob Debus, MP
As the First Law Officer of the State, the Attorney General is the most senior member of the Bar and acts for or represents the Crown in litigation.
He is the principal adviser to the Government and Cabinet on legal, constitutional and legal policy issues. In relation to legal policy issues, he has an obligation to ensure efficiency in the administration of justice, consistency in the level and nature of penalties under the law, observation of the rules of natural justice, and the preservation of civil liberties. The Attorney General advises the Premier, Cabinet and other Ministers and their Departments on legal questions referred for his opinion. He provides these opinions, having regard to the legal advice of the Solicitor General, Crown Advocate, Crown Solicitor or the Department. In matters relating to Bills, Regulations and associated parliamentary procedures, in practice, the Attorney General relies on the advice of the Parliamentary Counsel. Advice on legal policy issues is provided through the Director General of the Attorney General‘s Department.
He also has responsibility for the appointment of judges, magistrates and statutory officers.
About the Department 1
Our vision 3
Organisational structure 4
Director General‘s Review 5
Highlights 2002-03 6
Supporting community justice 6 The latest information technology 8 Caring for the environment 9
Court performance 10
Key performance indicators 11 The year in review 17
Community and Regulatory Services 17 Anti-Discrimination Board 17
Privacy NSW (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of NSW) 18
Victims Services 19
Community Justice Centres 20
Community Relations Division 21 Legal Management Service 23
Legal Representation Office 24 Public Defenders Office 25
LawAccess NSW 26
Legal Practitioners Admission Board 27 Legal Profession Advisory Council 28 Office of the Legal Services Commissioner 29
Professional Standards Council 30 Court and Tribunal Services 31 Supreme Court 31
Industrial Relations Commission 32 Land and Environment Court 33 Compensation Court 34
District Court 35
Local Courts 36
Dust Diseases Tribunal 38
Administrative Decisions Tribunal 39 Library Services Division 40
Law Courts Library 41
Office of the Sheriff 41
Reporting Services Branch 43
Policy and Crime Prevention 44 Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council 44 NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research 45
Crime Prevention Division 46
Criminal Law Review Division 48 Law Reform Commission 49
Legislation and Policy Division 50 Crown Solicitor‘s Office 51
Office of the Protective Commissioner 52 Office of the Public Guardian 53 NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 54
Management Services 55
Corporate Human Resources 57
Executive & Strategic Services 58 Our people 60
Corporate governance 62
The year ahead 63
Attorney General‘s Department of NSW 65
Crown Solicitor‘s Office 99
NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 113
Legal Practitioners Admission Board 127 Appendices 141
1 Accounts payment performance 141
2 Code of Conduct and Ethics 141
3 Complaints handling 141
4 Consultants 142
5 Contractors 143
6 Court and tribunal statistics 144
7 Disability Strategic Plan 147
8 Disposal of property 150
9 Employee wages movements 150
10 Enterprise industrial relations 151
11 Equal employment opportunity and staff numbers 152
12 Ethnic Affairs Priority Statement 152
13 Freedom of information 153
14 Funds granted 156
15 Guarantee of service 162
16 Leave liabilities 162
17 Legislative changes 162
18 Legislation allocated to the Attorney General 163
19 NSW Government action plan for women 165
20 Occupational health and safety 167
21 Overseas travel 168
22 Publications (new) 168
23 Privacy and personal information 170
24 Recycling performance 170
25 Risk management and insurance activities 171
26 Senior Executive Service and statements of performance 171
27 Statutory appointments and significant committees 173 Contact information 178
Our vision: Justice and equality for NSW
Aims, objectives and values –
Our Commitment to the Community This statement expresses our aims, objectives and values. It also provides strategic
direction across the Department and succinctly captures what we strive to achieve as a diverse
• Excellent client service.
• Good management.
• Working well with others.
• Delivering services in a timely and efficient way.
• Acting in an honest, fair and ethical way.
• Providing useful information and advice.
• Being competent, informed and helpful.
• Finding solutions to problems.
• Being courteous, professional and respectful.
• Communicating in an open way.
• Strengthening relationships with other agencies.
• Ensuring all our clients can access our services.
• Continuously improving the way we do things.
• Ensuring an inclusive and safe work environment.
• Encouraging participation, teamwork and effective leadership. • Being accountable for our actions.
• Satisfied clients.
• Motivated and productive workforce. • Community confidence.