Public Defenders

Welcome to the Public Defenders website

Public Defenders are salaried barristers independent of the government who appear in serious criminal matters for clients who have been granted legal aid. Learn more about Public Defenders.

We do not provide general legal advice to the public. If you need legal help, contact LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529.​

COVID-19 UPDATE - 17 March 2022

We are currently working with reduced staff numbers. If the phone/office is unattended please direct all enquires to

Everyone attending the office is required to wear a mask, use hand sanitiser immediately on entry and maintain the required physical distance of 1.5 metres.

Please do not attend if you feel unwell or have even mild symptoms of Covid-19 including sore throat, mild fever, runny nose or cough.

Thank you for your help in keeping all of us safe.

​Latest News

Vacancies at The Public Defenders

The Attorney General is seeking applications from qualified persons for appointment under the Public Defenders Act 1995 to the following roles:

Public Defender - Sydney and Sydney West (job reference number 48818).

Public Defender - Wagga Wagga (job reference number 48819).

Note: The roles are for a fixed term that may be renewed. A separate application for each role is required. Applications in Word or PDF, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees, must be completed online.

Applications close: Monday, 24 July 2022 (11.59 pm). 

Public Defender Sydney/Sydney West Apply here


The new amendments commenced on 27 June 2022 and apply now.  If you practice criminal law, you need to know about them as this is a major change to bail laws.  A guide to them is here

Vale Judge Peter Zahra SC

Former Senior Public Defender and much loved and respected colleague of many.

The postal details for the Public Defenders have changed.

Effective immediately the Public Defenders no longer has a DX service.

All Sydney CBD postal correspondence should be addressed to: 

The Public Defenders Level 23, 1 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

For regional Public Defenders' Chambers see details here

Legal Aid commissioned expert report on the risk COVID-19 poses to pregnant women, in particular incarcerated women. Written by Professor Caroline Homer, Co-Program Director,  Maternal and Child Health at the Burnet Institute and an Emeritus Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology Sydney.

Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020

This Act commences 27 March 2021. For a guide to significant changes and procedural flow charts for Unfitness to be Tried and Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Defences see below under Popular Resources

​If you experience difficulty reading any of the documents on this website and you require 
an accessible version, please email