Criminal Law 

The Criminal Law Committee monitors all matters related to criminal law, represents the Law Society and its members on policy and practice issues arising from it, and upholds the rule of law having regard to:

  • The interests of people charged with criminal offences
  • The rights of people in custody
  • The interests of intellectually disabled, mentally ill and other cognitively impaired people as they are affected by the criminal law
  • The rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Our priorities include:

  • Developing and commenting on law reform and legal policy proposals (including preparing submissions, and liaising with government and other stakeholders in this process)
  • Educating the legal profession about changes to the law, and providing guidance on practice and other issues
  • Exchanging information about issues arising in legal practice (such as recent case law) that may indicate a legal policy issue or concern

Learn more about committees
Current committee members
How to join a committee


Appearances of legal representatives in Local Court in NSW

Corrective services NSW – Information for legal practitioners

Domestic violence – where to refer clients

Early appropriate guilty pleas

Evaluation of the child sexual offence evidence pilot

Evidence of silence alert

Guidelines for contact with the complainant in apprehended domestic violence matters

Legal Aid NSW

NSW District Court 

NSW Local Court

NSW Police Prosecutors email contacts (for solicitors only)

Power to demand that a young person subject to bail conditions be brought to the door

Representation principles for children’s lawyers 4th edition

Resumption of defended hearings in the Local Court of NSW – information for solicitors’

Supreme Court of NSW

Viewing of sensitive evidence in criminal cases: The ODPP has recently implemented a new process, a Secure Timeboxed Viewer (STV), which enables secure access for legal practitioners to view sensitive evidence through a portal from a personal computer or device. The STV obviates the need for legal practitioners to attend police stations or DPP offices to view sensitive evidence such as JIRT proceedings. Please view the External User Guide, which explains how the STV works and the steps users need to take to obtain access.

Recent policy submissions

Letter to the Dept of Communities and Justice - Administrative Review of the Bail Act 2013 - 6 August 2020

Letter to Portfolio Committee No. 5 – Legal Affairs - Inquiry into the provisions of the Firearms and Weapons Legislation (Criminal Use) Bill 2020 - 30 July 2020

Letter to Attorney General - the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 - Operation Tusket - 30 June 2020

Letter to LCA - Review of Law Council’s Policy Statement on a Commonwealth Criminal Cases Review Commission - 26 June 2020

Letter to Attorney General of NSW - Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Bill 2020 - 15 June 2020

Letter to Dept of Communities and Justice - Statutory review of the Crimes (Serious Crime Prevention Orders) Act 2016 - 19 May 2020

Letter to LCA - Council of Attorneys-General Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group Review -14 February 2020

Letter to Portfolio Committee No. 5 - Legal Affairs - Inquiry into the Road Transport Amendment (Mobile Phone Detection) Bill 2019 - 18 October 2019

Letter to Legislative Council Standing  Committee on social issues - Modern Slavery Act 2018 and associated matters - 4 October 2019 

Letter to Minister for Transport and Roads - Road Transport Amendment (Mobile Phone Detection) Bill 2019 - 1 October 2019 

Letter to Attorney General of NSW - Section 293 Criminal Procedure Act 1986 - 19 September 2019  

Letter to Department of Communities and Justice - Consultation paper: diversion in the summary jurisdiction - 2 September 2019

Letter to Attorney General of NSW - Fees Paid to Private Practitioners in Legally Aided Matters - Business Case - 30 August 2019

Letter to Legislative Council Standing  Committee on Law and Justice - Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment (Double Jeopardy) Bill 2019 - 27 June 2019  

Letter to Dept of Justice - Statutory Review of the Crime Commission Act 2012 - Supplementary Consultation Paper - 19 June 2019  

Letter to NSW Law Reform Commission - Open Justice Review - Preliminary submission - 31 May 2019 

Letter to The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP - Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Inmate Behaviour) Bill 2019 - 31 May 2019 

Letter to Dept of Justice - Proposed amendments to the Crimes Administration of Sentences Act 1999 - 9 May 2019 

Letter to Professor Dan Howard SC - The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug  ‘Ice’ – Issues Paper 2 - Justice - 9 May 2019 

Letter to NSW Sentencing  Council - Repeat traffic offenders - 2 April 2019 

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health - 22 March 2019 

Letter to Dept of Justice - Applications under the Government Information Public Access Act 2009 - 7 March 2019 

Letter to Dept of Justice - Consultation paper - criminal appeals - 28 February 2019 

Letter to NSW Sentencing  Council - Review of the standard non-parole period for the bushfire offence and the maximum penalties for destroying property by fire - 22 February 2019 

Letter to NSW Law Reform Commission - Consultation Paper - Consent in relation to sexual offences - 4 February 2019 

Letter to ODPP - Prosecution  guidelines for consultation - 25 January 2019 

Visit the Criminal Law policy submissions archive

2020 Committee list

A. Lumsden (Chair), M. Mantaj, (Dep Chair), C. Akthar, M. Allen, C. Bell, A. Bilias, P. Blake, V. Chan, P. Coady, E. Conditsis, D. Giddy, R. Hoyles, J. Hunter, L. Kaban, H. Ketley, R. Leary, R. McMahon, S. Mortimer, P. Musgrave, R. Ogden, J. Pheils, K. Saddington (YL Rep), J. Sanders, T. Spohr, J. Styles, J. Sutton, J. Weir.

How to join a committee
Law Society Committees have powers, authorities and tasks delegated by the Council. Consisting of dedicated volunteers, each committee focuses on a particular area of law, pooling together specialist skills and experience in order to scrutinise legislation, court decisions and other government policies.
There are three broad categories of committees:

  • Regulatory committees – perform statutory duties under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)
  • Liaison committees – linked to other professions or organisations
  • Policy committees

By drawing on the insights of committees, the Law Society can meet its statutory duties and act as a major player in law reform and policy debates.

See the Law Society Committee webpage