The Andrews Labor Government today announced the appointment of Kerri Judd QC as new Director of Public Prosecutions, and Brendan Kissane QC as new Chief Crown Prosecutor.
Ms Judd, who is the first woman to be appointed as the Director of Public Prosecutions, has more than 25 years of legal experience. Since August 2016 she has been a Senior Crown Prosecutor and she has been acting Chief Crown Prosecutor since December 2017.
As a Senior Crown Prosecutor, Ms Judd introduced electronic jury trials to the Supreme and County courts. She appeared in the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division of the Supreme Court on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions and advised on the prospects of a number of successful prosecutions.
She has also tirelessly promoted the interests of women in Prosecutors’ Chambers and at the Bar. Prior to 2016, Ms Judd’s extensive work at the Victorian Bar included appearing for the prosecution and accused in criminal trials, and advising and acting on behalf of Victoria Police in various matters.
From 2013 to 2016, Ms Judd also advised and represented the State of Victoria in respect of various matters arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including on criminal justice issues.
Ms Judd has a Master of Laws and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, and was appointed Senior Counsel in November 2007. She replaces former Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion SC, who was appointed as a Supreme Court Judge in December last year.
The Director is the head of Victoria’s public prosecutions service and is responsible for instituting, preparing and conducting serious criminal matters in the High Court, Supreme Court and County Court on behalf of the Crown.
Mr Kissane has been a Senior Crown Prosecutor since May 2015, and was previously a Crown Prosecutor for eight years. He was the first Crown Prosecutor assigned to Geelong, where he oversaw the operations of the local Office of Public Prosecutions from 2009 to 2011.
Prior to his work as a Crown Prosecutor, Mr Kissane was a barrister at the Victorian Bar for more than 20 years. He was also a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal from 1995 to 2002. Before becoming a barrister, Mr Kissane was a solicitor for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
He has a Master of Laws, a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2014, and Queen’s Counsel in 2015. Mr Kissane replaces the current Chief Crown Prosecutor Gavin Silbert QC, who retires today.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“Ms Judd is the first woman in Victoria to be appointed as the Director of Public Prosecutions and she will make an outstanding contribution to the role.”
“Mr Kissane has extensive legal experience and I congratulate him on his appointment as Chief Crown Prosecutor.”
“I would like to thank the former Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion and retiring Chief Crown Prosecutor Gavin Silbert for their years of outstanding service to the people of Victoria.”