Sally Dowling appointed NSW's first female Director of Public Prosecutions

Sally Dowling appointed NSW’s first female Director of Public Prosecutions

Sally Dowling

Sydney criminal barrister Sally Dowling, SC, will become NSW’s first female Director of Public Prosecutions.

Dowling, who has served as a Crown Prosecutor for sixteen years, will become the fourth person to hold the role, and will serve a ten-year term from next week.

Dowling was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013 and has appeared as lead counsel in more than three hundred appeals in the High Court. She was senior counsel in the NSW state government’s Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ in 2019.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said Dowling is well positioned to continue the work of Lloyd Babb SC as Director of Public Prosecutions.

“Ms Dowling has a distinguished background in criminal law and has shown outstanding leadership and legal skills while arguing cases as a prosecutor and as defence counsel,” Speakman said.

In 2016, Dowling was appointed Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor and Head of the Appeals unit within the Office of the DPP.

Dowling said she is honoured to lead the independent agency, an employer of more than eight hundred staff that prosecutes around 18,000 criminal matters a year.

“I look forward to representing our community and providing the public with a prosecution service that is strong, fair and fearless,” she said.

Dowling, who has practiced law since 1995, left high school at North Sydney Girls in Year 11, according to a profile published by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2012.

She spent time working odd jobs, and three years later completed her HSC at TAFE, and her advice to young people is that “there are many, many second chances” in life.

“I do advise people not to feel that the die is cast by what they have and haven’t achieved when they’re 15 and 16 and even 17,” said Dowling at the time.

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