Forty televised public pleas were transcribed, half of them were innocent relatives pleading for the return of their loved ones, the other half were killers, convicted after the event. The pleas were taken from worldwide cases, from the Susan Smith case were she drove her sons into a lake and drowned them, later claiming she was carjacked by a black man, to Gerard Baden-Clay, whose televised plea was complete with crocodile tears even though it was found he had ealier murdered his wife Allison. Leakage of deception and happiness, and failed attempts at sadness are visual cues which are briefly decsribed and shown. However, the majority of the presentation is geared towards verbal and written deception. A computer analysis highlights the cues you need to look out for, and remarkably simple cues redflag over 90% of the plea deception. These simple cues are also valuable to analyse the veracity of 000 phone calls. Most studies of deception cues are based on laboratory games or low stakes lying, where the liars have nothing to lose. This is a real world world high stakes analysis with important discoveries in deception communication leakage.
Thank you for joining us in Hobart.
The Tasmanian Director of Public Prosecutions is proud to host the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors’ Annual Conference for 2017. This prestigious conference is being held in Tasmania for the first time and will attract prosecutors from around Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and South East Asia.The focus will be on the challenges encountered by prosecutors who regularly conduct criminal trials and appeals in a variety of jurisdictions. A particular focus will be on prosecuting ‘cold cases’ and on dealing with difficult situations in the court room.The program will include:Challenges of prosecutions with vulnerable witnessesProsecuting complex crimesSentencing studiesJurisdictional round up
We look forward to welcoming Prosecutors from:
- Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution Offices
- State Director of Public Prosecution Offices
- Territory Director of Public Prosecution Offices
- Neighbouring jurisdictions in New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Asia
Hotel Grand Chancellor
1 Davey Street
Hobart Tasmania 7000
For all enquiries please contact the team at Conference Design:
- +61 3 6231 2999
- Daryl Coates SC, Director of Public Prosecutions
- Linda Mason, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions
- Michael Varney, Director Crown Law
- Yolanda Prenc, Crown Counsel
- Rebecca Lancaster, Crown Counsel
- Allison Shand, Crown Counsel
- Virginia Jones, Crown Counsel
- Tom Berger
- The Honourable Chief Justice Alan Blow OAM
Chief Justice of Tasmania
- Damian Bugg AM QC CV
QC, Order of Australia
- Daryl Coates SC
Director of Public Prosecutions
- Sergeant Gerard Dutton
Ballistics Section – Forensic Services, Tasmanian Police
- Detective Senior Sergeant Damien George
- Detective Inspector Glenn Lathey
Tasmanian Police (Retired)
- Dr Chris Lawrence
Director of Statewide Forensic Medical Services
- Her Honour Patricia Lees
Judge, Snaresbrook Crown Court
- Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC
Governor of Tasmania
- Panel Session
- Chief Magistrate Cath Rheinberger
- Solicitor General Michael O’Farrell SC
- Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Linda Mason
Wednesday 5 July 2017
|16:00 – 17:45||Registration
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|17:45||Coach departures from Hotel Grand Chancellor
Pick up from Campbell Street, meet in the Hotel Lobby
|18:00 – 19:00||Government House Reception|
|19:00||Coach departures from Government House to Hotel Grand Chancellor & Salamanca|
Thursday 6 July 2017
|08:00 – 09:15||Registration
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|09:15 – 11:00||Session 1 – Grand Ballroom One|
|09:15 – 09:30||Official Welcome|
|09:30 – 10:15||Prosecution advocacy: a bench perspective
The Honourable Chief Justice Alan Blow OAM, Chief Justice of Tasmania
|10:15 – 11:00||The odd angry shot. War crimes, Port Arthur and bullets which misbehave
Dr Chris Lawrence, Director of Statewide Forensic Medical Services
|11:00 – 11:30||Morning Tea
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|11:30 – 1300||Session 2 – Grand Ballroom One|
|11:30 – 12:15||Criminal justice and the vulnerable
Justice Patricia Lees, Judge, Snaresbrook Crown Court
|12:15 – 13:00||Best-Practice approaches for witnesses with communication needs
Associate Professor Terese Henning, Faculty of Law / Tasmania Law Reform Institute, University of Tasmania
Ms Rikki Mawad, Faculty of Law / Tasmania Law Reform Institute, University of Tasmania
|13:00 – 14:00||Lunch
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|14:00 – 15:15||Session 3 – Grand Ballroom One|
|14:00 – 15:15||Panel Discussion: Dealing with difficult situations in court
Simon Nicholson, Senior Crown Counsel, Office of the Director of Pubic Prosecutions
Chief Magistrate Catherine Geason, Magistrates Court of Tasmania
Michael O’Farrell SC, Solicitor General
Linda Mason, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions,Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Alan Hensley, Criminal Practice Manager, Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania
|15:15 – 15:30||Afternoon Tea
|15:30 – 17:00||Session 4 – Grand Ballroom One|
|15:30 – 16:15||Forensic firearms investigation: Current challenges to the status quo
Sergeant Gerard Dutton, Ballistics Section – Forensic Services, Tasmanian PoliceForensic firearms investigation and other comparative forensic disciplines have been under ever increasing pressure as to their validity, particularly over the last decade, from a number of highly critical academics and researchers from around the world. Such is this pressure that the author believes that the comparative forensic sciences (ballistics, toolmarks, fingerprints, shoeprints, documents etc) are on the cusp of a historic paradigm shift in how these disciplines are practiced by those who work within them. This shift will not only affect forensic scientists but will have a flow on effect to all those who work in the criminal justice system. Any change to the status quo will take many years to implement however it is important delegates understand what is afoot and to remain abreast of these developments. The presentation will broadly outline what these challenges to forensic science are, with particular discussion how these issues affect the discipline of forensic ballistics.
|16:15 – 17:00||Killers & Crocodile tears: Deception cues in televised pleas to the public – Computer analysis of verbal transcripts of televised pleas by killers
Tom Berger, Perceptionist
|18:15||Meet in the Hotel Grand Chancellor Lobby
Walk over to Lark Distillery
|18:30 – 20:30||Cocktail Function & Whiskey Tasting
Friday 7 July 2017
|08:45 – 09:30||Registration
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|09:30 – 11:00||Session 5 – Grand Ballroom One|
|09:30 – 11:00||Juries
Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC
|11:00 – 11:30||Morning Tea
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|11:30 – 13:00||Session 6 – Grand Ballroom One|
|11:30 – 12:15||Cold case double murder investigation
Detective Inspector Glenn Lathey (Retired)
Detective Senior Sergeant Damien George, Tasmania Police
|12:15 – 13:00||Prosecuting cold cases
Daryl Coates SC , Director of Public Prosecutions
|13:00 – 14:00||Lunch
Mezzanine, Hotel Grand Chancellor
|14:00 – 15:45||Session 7 – Grand Ballroom One|
|14:00 – 14:45||Prosecuting, then and now. Some lessons and challenges
Damian Bugg AM QC
Damian’s address will cover a brief history of the office of DPP in Australia, the lessons we can take from that history, a comparison of the challenges and benefits of small and large offices, concluding with an armchair dweller’s view of today’s prosecuting landscape with a brief sermon from that armchair.
|14:45 – 15:45||Jurisdictional Round Up|
|15:45 – 16:00||Afternoon Tea
|16:00 – 16:30||Session 8 – Grand Ballroom One|
|16:00 – 16:30||Annual General Meeting|
|18:40||Coach departures from Hotel Grand Chancellor
Pick up from Campbell Street, meet in the hotel lobby
|19:00 – 23:00||Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors Conference Dinner
Frogmore Creek Winery
Prosecution Advocacy: a Bench Perspective
The Hon Alan Blow OAM has been the Chief Justice of Tasmania since 2013. He is the Tasmanian Patron of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers’ Association. He grew up in Sydney, attended the University of Sydney, and was admitted as a solicitor there in 1974. He and his wife Margaret moved to Tasmania in 1976. He practiced as a barrister and solicitor in Devonport until 1987, and then at the Hobart bar until 2000, when he became a judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania. He took silk in 1995. He has been the President of the Law Society of Tasmania, a part-time Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Chairman of Trustees of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and a board member of the Salamanca Arts Centre. His interests include travel, modern history, and joie de vivre.
The odd angry shot. War crimes, Port Arthur and bullets which misbehave
Dr Chris Lawrence completed his training in Pathology in 1989 and was employed as a Staff Specialist in Forensic Pathology at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Glebe.
He then spent two years at the Office of the Medical Investigator, New Mexico, USA, as a Fellow then Staff Specialist between July, 1991 and June, 1993. While at the Office of the Medical Investigator he attended a Smithsonian short course in Forensic Anthropology and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology course in Forensic Anthropology. Dr Lawrence performed a large number of autopsies on gunshot wounds at the OMI.
From 1993 to 2001 he worked as a Senior Staff Specialist at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Glebe, Sydney. In 1996 he was one of two Pathologists sent down from the mainland to Hobart to carry out autopsies on the victims of the Port Arthur massacre. In 1998 he worked for the United Nations International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as Chief Pathologist in Bosnia, exhuming and examining 900 of the 7500 victims of the Srebrenica massacre. He gave evidence in the trials of General Krstic, Popovic et al and Radovan Karadzic at the International War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the Hague.
In 2000 Dr Lawrence spent three weeks in Kosovo working with the International War Crimes Tribunal performing autopsies on ethnic Albanian victims of civil unrest in Kosovo. In 2001 Dr Lawrence spent ten days in East Timor examining the remains of victims of the civil unrest that followed the elections in East Timor. Dr Lawrence took up the position as Director of Statewide Forensic Medical Services on 18th February, 2002. In 2004 he spent 10 day in Thailand trying to identify victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami. In 2009 he went to Samoa to identify Australian victims of the Samoan Tsunami.
He is a member of the Tasmanian Red Cross International Humanitarian Law committee. His areas of particular interest include scuba diving fatalities and investigation of human rights abuse.
Criminal Justice and the Vulnerable
Before her appointment to the Bench, Patricia Lees practised at the Bar for almost 20 years, both prosecuting and defending the full gamut of crime but with an emphasis on serious sexual offences.
HHJ Lees is the co-author of The Sexual Offences Referencer and has contributed to other published works for some years.
Throughout her career there has been and remains a focus on providing education for the profession.
Patricia Lees was for several years a pivotal member of the Criminal Bar Association’s education committee. She was also directly involved in an initiative to provide training for the Bar after the introduction of intermediaries.
After her appointment to the Bench in 2009, HHJ Lees was appointed a Tutor Judge for the Judicial College of England and Wales and in that capacity regularly leads seminars during the courses provided for the judiciary including for those trying serious sexual offences.
She is part of a pan-profession committee set up to address the presentation of their evidence and the treatment of vulnerable witnesses and defendants within the court system. She was involved in training those who now train advocates in cross examination of vulnerable witnesses.
Patricia Lees was an advocacy and ethics trainer for students and young barristers of Lincoln’s Inn for over 15 years.
Best-practice approaches for witnesses with communication needs
Associate Professor Terese Henning is the Director of the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI). She was appointed to this position following a career long commitment to law reform. She is one of Australia’s academic experts in Evidence law, criminal law, criminal procedure, criminology, sentencing and human rights. Her most recent book is “The Trial” written with Jill Hunter, Mehera San Roque, Gary Edmond, Rebecca McMahon and James Metzger published by Federation press in 2015. Her current research interests focus on human rights and criminal justice, sentencing recidivist drink drivers and mechanisms for obtaining optimum evidence in criminal trials from children and witnesses with cognitive impairments.
Associate Professor Henning is a member of the Tasmanian Sentencing Advisory Council and was a founding Member of the Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) and Tasmanian Women Lawyers (TWL).
National Coordinator, University of Melbourne led Disability Access to Justice Research Consortium
Ms Rikki Mawad is the Assistant Director of the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI) and the National Coordinator of the University of Melbourne led Disability Access to Justice Research Consortium. As the Consortium Coordinator Rikki is managing a growing network of interdisciplinary research partners working on disability justice related projects across Australia and New Zealand. Her law reform work in Tasmania focuses on introduction of court intermediaries and the pre-recording of evidence of children and people with communication needs.
Rikki has a Masters in Conflict and Dispute Resolution, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Bachelor of Arts and Law with Honours in Law. She has worked as an Adviser in the Federal Parliament, the Senate and the Tasmanian Parliament and as a Radio Producer with the ABC in Tasmania. Rikki is also a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Tasmania teaching Dispute Resolution and parts of Evidence Law.
Forensic Firearms Investigation: Current challenges to the status quo
Sergeant Gerard Dutton has worked continuously in forensic firearm and toolmark investigation for 30 years and is Australia’s most accomplished expert in this discipline. He commenced his forensic career with NSW Police and in 1995, escaped Sydney to take up the position of Sergeant in Charge of the Ballistics Section, Forensic Services in Tasmanian Police.
He has published over 100 technical articles/papers on firearms, toolmarks and related topics in over a dozen forensic, police and other journals, winning 12 national and 3 international awards. He is also an assistant editor for the quarterly Journal of the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE), the sole professional body representing specialists worldwide in this discipline.
Gerard has presented on ballistics and toolmarks numerous times within Australia and in over a dozen countries to his peers, police and other groups at forensic science symposia and during various other meetings. He has given expert oral testimony many hundreds of times in courts of all jurisdictions in NSW, Tasmania, New Zealand and Norway. Some of the firearm related murders he has provided complex ballistics evidence in include:
- The senseless slaying of pioneering heart surgeon Dr Victor Chang
- The Ivan Milat “Backpacker” murders
- The Port Arthur massacre
- The assassination of NSW politician John Newman MP
He has been member and Chairman of various national and international committees including the Australian Firearm and Toolmarks Scientific Working Group and the Ethics Committee of the international Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE).
Gerard has been a Distinguished Member of AFTE since 1997 and remains the only forensic firearms expert in Australia to have ever been bestowed with this honour. He is a Past President and current Treasurer of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) and was Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 21st ANZFSS International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences held in Hobart in 2012 which attracted 780 delegates from 34 countries.
Since 2014 he has travelled annually to Ramallah in the West Bank to conduct face-to-face teaching for members of the Palestinian Civil Police in firearms and toolmarks investigation. This forensic capacity building project is administered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Killers & Crocodile Tears: Deception Cues In Televised Pleas To The Public- Computer analysis of verbal transcripts of televised pleas by killers
Using the latest anti plagiarism software from Drexel University, Tom Berger ran 4 samples of Patsy Ramseys writing thru the software and compared it to 50 random emails from the Enron corpus, which is being used in social sciences. As shown on his blog www.elastictruth.com, Patsy Ramsey was identified as having written the ransom note with a high probability, based on “linguistic analysis”. As Pennebaker and Newman from Uni Pennsylvania show, small function words become a linguistic fingerprint in our writing. We are not aware of articles and pronoun use and function words, and so they become invisible, but allow us to assign authorship with high probability.
My background was as a computer engineer before I became a professional speaker and presenter, and computer analysis with the latest software from MIT and from Italy has brought my blog to the attention of the FBI. Last year in Sept I was contacted by Frank Marsh from the FBI, wanting to know more about what I do, and wanting to know about information relation to linguistic analysis and for training information. I have been in contact with Devin Caughey from MIT and Livio Finos in Italy about a powerful emerging statistical tool to use for analysis called NPC, Non Parametric Combination tests. These are the tests used by the brain scan labs to separate the signal from the noise, and this is what I use in my analysis of written and spoken words.
My talk at the conference is a combining of the latest software and computer analysis, in order to automate deception detection and remove human bias.
Tasmania’s 28th Governor, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, was sworn to Office at Government House on Wednesday 10 December 2014.
Previously she was Professor, Faculty of Law, at the University of Tasmania and Director of the Tasmania Law Reform Institute. She had also in her career at the University held the positions of Dean, Faculty of Law, and Head of School. Following her appointment as Governor, she was made a professor emeritus.
On 26 January 2014 Her Excellency was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the law, particularly in the areas of law reform and education. On 26 January 2017 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for her eminent service to the people of Tasmania through leading contributions to the legal community, to law reform, to higher education as an academic, researcher and publisher and as a supporter of the arts and environmental and social justice initiatives.
Her teaching interests included Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminology and Sentencing, and her research interests included Sentencing and Criminal Justice. Since her appointment as Governor, she has continued her research in Sentencing, in particular.
She was a Commissioner of the Tasmanian Gaming Commission, with a particular interest in regulation, gaming policy and harm minimisation.
Professor Warner had been a Member of the Sentencing Advisory Council since 2010, and assisted with the preparation of the Council’s discussion papers and reports.
She was a Member of the Board of Legal Education; a Member of the Council of Law Reporting; and Director, Centre for Legal Studies.
In addition to working with the Tasmania Law Reform Institute on its projects, she had been involved in providing advice and submissions on rape law reform, drug diversion and mental health diversion programs and abortion law reform. She also assisted other law reform bodies nationally including the New South Wales Law Reform Commission and the Australian Law Reform Commission.
As the former President of the Alcorso Foundation, Her Excellency supported social and cultural advancement in the community through its programs in the Arts, Environment and Social Justice.
She has received a number of awards and fellowships, including Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2007; Visiting Fellow All Souls College Oxford in 2009; the University of Tasmania Distinguished Service Medal in 2013; and the Women Lawyers Award for Leadership in 2013. She has been nominated as a finalist in the Tasmanian Australian of the Year Awards for her contributions to the law, law reform and legal education. In December 2016 she was made a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.
Her Excellency graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Tasmania in 1970, and a Master of Laws in 1978. She served as associate to the former Chief Justice, Sir Stanley Burbury, in the early 1970s.
She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and law reform reports. She first published Sentencing in Tasmania in 1991, which has since become an indispensable tool for judges and magistrates. She is a member of the editorial boards of Current Issues in Criminal Justice; Women Against Violence; and the Criminal Law Journal. She contributed the annual Sentencing Review to the Criminal Law Journal from 1998 until 2014. Related to her role with the Tasmania Law Reform Institute, she has written a number of papers and reports for the Board.
Her Excellency is married to Richard Warner, and they have two daughters. Richard was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship in 1999, and was actively involved in the Derwent Valley community. He is a keen horticulturalist, and interested in the re-use of redundant heritage buildings in Tasmania.
She is grandmother to five grandchildren, a passionate gardener, keen bushwalker and occasional cyclist.
Her most significant publications include:
- Warner K, Sentencing in Tasmania, 2nd ed. The Federation Press, Sydney (2002) (with J Davis, T Henning and D Porter).
- Gans J, Henning T, Hunter J and Warner K, Criminal Process and Human Rights, Sydney: Federation Press (2011).
- Warner K, ‘Gang Rape in Sydney: Crime, the media, politics, race and sentencing’
(2004) 37 Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 344-361.
- Warner K, Davis J, Walter M, Bradfield R & Vermey R. ‘Public judgement on sentencing: Final results from the Tasmanian Jury Sentencing Study’ Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No 407 (2011).
- Warner K and Davis J, ‘Using jurors to explore public attitudes to sentencing’
(2012) 52 British Journal of Criminology 93-112.
- Warner K, Sentencing, Final Report No 11, Tasmania Law Reform Institute, 2008 (374pp)
- Warner K, ‘The Role of Guideline Judgments in the Law and Order Debate’
(2003) 27 Criminal Law Journal 8-22.
- Warner K, ‘Equality Before the Law and Equal Impact of Sanctions: Doing justice to difference in wealth and employment status’ in Zedner L and Roberts J (eds), Principles and Values in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Essays in Honour of Andrew Ashworth, Oxford, 2012.
- Warner K et al, ‘Measuring Jurors’ Views on Sentencing: Results from the
Second Australian Jury Study’ (2017) 19 Punishment & Society 180-2002.
Cold Case Double Murder Investigation
Damien George has been a member of Tasmania Police since March 1995. He has served in a number of diverse roles throughout his career, commencing with uniform duties prior to moving to covert areas of policing which included surveillance and undercover roles. In 2001, Damien transferred from the covert policing environment to investigative roles in drug and crime investigation.
In 2004, Damien was seconded to the Western Australia Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC). During this role, Damien was a Senior Investigator in the CCC investigation into the murder conviction of Andrew Mallard, a conviction which was ultimately overturned by the High Court of Australia. The investigation ultimately identified evidence of misconduct in respect of investigating and prosecuting authorities.
Upon return to Tasmania in 2007, Damien was part of an investigation team in respect of a politically sensitive investigation which ultimately led to the resignation of the then Deputy Premier and later, the dismissal of the Commissioner of Police.
Between 2009 -2015, Damien was involved in the Cold Case investigation of two historical murders committed in 1992 and 2006 respectively. This investigation led to the conviction of Stephen Standage for both murders for which he was sentenced to 48 years in prison – a life sentence.
Between 20011 -2014, Damien was attached to the Internal Investigation Unit prior to a period at the Police Academy where he facilitated police promotional programs.
Damien is currently the Officer in Charge of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit which has state-wide responsibility and works in partnership with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. Recently, Damien led the Tasmania Police response to a multi-agency investigation which resulted in the seizure of 184 kilograms of Cocaine from a vessel in the Southern Ocean.
Glenn Lathey retired from Tasmania Police in June 2016 after a career spanning just over forty (40) years, the majority of which (almost thirty years), was spent in Criminal Investigation postings. Glenn received a number of awards and commendations throughout his police career including the Australian Police Medal in 2014. During his career Glenn was attached to the Launceston Drug Squad, Launceston Criminal Investigation Branch, and then as the Detective Sergeant in charge at George Town Criminal Investigation Branch.
Between 1994 and 1996 Glenn spent two years on secondment to the National Crime Authority in Melbourne as a Senior Investigator, and shortly after his return to Tasmania was promoted to the rank of Inspector. Between 1998 and his retirement last year, Glenn was the Detective Inspector in charge of a number of Criminal Investigation areas within Tasmania Police including Bellerive Criminal Investigation Branch, Hobart Criminal Investigation Branch, and Hobart Drug Squad.
In 2008 Glenn was appointed to head up the newly formed Cold Case Unit, and remained in that position until the Unit was closed down in December 2011 as a result of severe Government budget cuts to Tasmania Police. In November 2014 Glenn was appointed to head up the newly formed Serious Organised Crime Division, comprising the Serious Organised Crime Unit, Unexplained Wealth Unit and Fraud and e-Crime Unit, where he remained until his retirement in June 2016.
Prosecuting Cold cases
Daryl Coates SC is Tasmania’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He was appointed in November 2015 after acting in the position since November 2013.
Mr Coates studied at the University of Tasmania where he completed the combined degrees of Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law in March 1985. He began work at the Office of the DPP in 1986 employed as Crown Counsel in the area of summary prosecutions, child protection work, coronial inquests, indictable crime and criminal appeals. In 2000 he was appointed a Crown Law Officer pursuant to s1 of the Criminal Code enabling him to sign indictments on behalf of the Crown. He has significant experience in conducting complex and lengthy trials.
Mr Coates was appointed a Senior Counsel in 2003 and he was appointed Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in March 2004 where he was responsible for the criminal section of the Office of the DPP.
In September 2008 he was appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the Legal Profession Disciplinary Tribunal and in 2009 he was appointed as Chairperson.
Prosecuting, Then and Now. Some Lessons and Challenges
Damian was born in country Tasmania, attended Boarding School and University in Hobart and Graduated LLB in December 1968 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Tasmania as a Barrister and Solicitor in February 1969.
Over the next 7 years Damian practised in Hobart, married in 1971 and worked for a firm in London during almost three years of overseas travel and work, and Crown Counsel in the office of Tasmania’s Crown Advocate in 1974 and ’75. Damian moved to the Hobart firm of Dobson Mitchell and Allport and practised as a Barrister and Solicitor for 10 years. In 1986 he was appointed Tasmania’s first DPP (when the Crown Advocate Act of 1973 was amended to create an Office of DPP) . This was a permanent appointment. In 1999 Damian was appointed Commonwealth DPP. His term of 5 years was extended for a further three years, and he retired from the position in October 2007.
During his time in practice Damian held a number of positions on professional bodies, in Tasmania and nationally. He was President of the Tasmanian Bar Association in 1982/32. He is still a Board member of the Canadian based International Society for the Reform of Criminal law and was its President from 2002 to 2008. In 1987 he established and chaired the Electronic Recording Committee which introduced Video recording of Police interviews throughout Tasmania, the first state to do so. He has written and spoken about many topics during his career including Police powers, procedural reform, victims’ rights and the role of the DPP.
He was Chancellor of the University of Tasmania at the time of his retirement, a position which then became a busier chore until he stepped down in January 2013. Since retiring he has chaired a number of Government Boards, has been a board member of a publicly listed company, Integrity Adviser to the Australian Taxation Office and chaired the 2013 Bushfires Recovery Taskforce.
Jenny and Damian have two children who are married and work in Hobart. Damian and Jenny have undertaken a number of volunteer activities in retirement and Damian has managed to renew his enjoyment of motorcycle riding including a couple of rides in the USA , one riding a Harley Davidson on Route 66 from Chicago to LA.
In 1994 Damian became a QC. In 2002 he received the Centenary Medal and in 2005 was made a member of the Order of Australia. In 2012 Damian was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for his services to the University of Tasmania.