About Us


The Role of the Public Defenders

Once a person has been granted legal aid, a Public Defender may be briefed to advise or appear in a matter through the Legal Aid Commission, the Aboriginal Legal Services, a private solicitor or any community based legal group.
Public Defenders are available to represent clients charged with serious criminal offences anywhere in New South Wales, if they have been granted legal aid.


Public Defenders:

  • represent accused persons, usually before a judge and a jury, in District Court and Supreme Court trials

  • appear in arraignments and sentence matters in the District Court and Supreme Court

  • appear in some murder committals in the Local Court

  • appear in appeals in the Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court

  • contribute to the reform of the law through submissions to the Attorney General and participate on committees within the criminal justice system

  • assist in legal education by giving lectures and seminars, writing papers and providing work experience for students and new barristers

Public Defenders also assist solicitors and members of the Bar with advice on criminal law practice and procedure and are available to represent clients anywhere in New South Wales.

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