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

The Public Defenders office hours are now 8:30am - 5pm.

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

You must sign in using the QR code at reception to register your name and contact details. 

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

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


Public Defenders response to COVID-19 crisis

There are two new features on our web site: firstly a one-stop resource page for criminal lawyers and secondly a platform for collecting lawyers’ experiences of what is and is not working, and problems with, the emergency procedures.

Why we are collecting feedback

We are seeking to collect and maintain an objective record of the experiences of criminal lawyers under the temporary emergency procedures to inform the profession, the courts and the government about:

1. how the emergency procedures are, and are not, working during the crisis;

2. how the emergency procedures are impacting upon the rights of accused persons including the right to a fair trial;

3. how any procedures are affecting the safety of lawyers and others employed in the criminal justice system; and

4. how any procedures are affecting the safety of people in custody.

This information will be important to the ongoing management of the crisis and to addressing any proposals to extend any of the emergency measures into ongoing practice after the crisis


​If you experience difficulty reading any of the documents on this website and you require 
an accessible version, please email accessibility@justice.nsw.gov.au