When I walked through the office door each day, I knew that almost every decision I made would make somebody unhappy. If I decided to prosecute someone, he or she would be unhappy. If I decided not to prosecute, a victim or a police officer or both would be unhappy. If I decided to appeal against an inadequate sentence, the prisoner would be unhappy; if I declined to appeal, the law-and-order brigade would erupt.
For sixteen-and-a-half years, Nicholas Cowdery was Director of Public Prosecutions for New South Wales. During this time, he immersed himself in the worst and saddest of human behaviour as he examined cases in forensic detail. And when he made unpopular decisions he had to reckon with criticism from politicians, media, victims, perpetrators and their families.
In Frank & Fearless, Cowdery reflects on some of the most notorious and difficult cases of his distinguished career, including the headline-grabbing criminal trials of Gordon Wood, Keli Lane and Jeffrey Gilham. He also writes about lesser-known cases involving drugs and voluntary assisted dying, and the need for law reform. All the while, he fights for a fair trial for all concerned. This gripping book reveals the workings of our criminal justice system from the inside.
Frank & Fearless
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC was the Director of Public Prosecutions for New South Wales (known as the DPP) from 1994 to 2011. Previously he had been a barrister since 1971, working in Papua New Guinea and at the Sydney Bar. Since then he has focused on helping developing countries improve the rule of law, especially through professional prosecution systems, and giving advice on how to maintain the rule of law in Australia. Nick is a University of New South Wales visiting professorial fellow.
Rachael Jane Chin (LLB, BA, University of Adelaide) practised as a lawyer before becoming a non-fiction writer. Her first book, Nice Girl: The story of Keli Lane and her missing baby Tegan, was published in 2011. From 2002 to 2004 she was employed as a journalist by the Australian Financial Review.