By -

Sydney-based silk Sally Dowling SC has become the state’s first female Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Dowling stepped into the role on 16 August, after former DPP Lloyd Babb SC finished his statutory 10-year term in July, and deputy DPP Peter McGrath acted in the role in between. She brings more than 25 years of experience in the legal profession to the role, and has previously held senior roles within the DPP, including Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor and head of the office’s Appeals unit.

Dowling was the Senior Counsel assisting the landmark Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice in 2019. Since then, she has been in private practice based at Wardell Chambers. She has acted as lead counsel in more than 300 appeals in the High Court and the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, and in more than 65 jury trials in the NSW Supreme and District Courts.

“I look forward to representing our community and providing the public with a prosecution service that is strong, fair and fearless,” Dowling said in a statement announcing her appointment.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the new DPP had “shown outstanding leadership and legal skills while arguing cases both as a prosecutor and as defence counsel”.

“She is very well-positioned to continue the dedicated work of Lloyd Babb SC, who finished his 10-year term on 17 July. NSW has been fortunate indeed to have benefited from the expertise, professionalism and integrity Mr Babb brought to the position over the past decade,” Speakman said.