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"Vote of no confidence": DPP Adam Kimber to bow out

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Adelaide’s legal community has been stunned by confirmation Director of Public Prosecutions Adam Kimber will not seek re-appointment for his position when his tenure expires in April.

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The State Government has confirmed Kimber was told he would not be automatically re-appointed and his position would be advertised – a situation that echoes the departure of Kimber’s predecessor, Stephen Pallaras, who stood aside as DPP in 2011 after the then-Labor Government told him he would need to re-apply for the role.

“He was informed of the Government’s intention to advertise for the position,” a spokesperson confirmed today.

“Mr Kimber was invited to re-apply but subsequently made a decision not to.”

In a separate statement, Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said Kimber “has advised me he will not be re-applying for his position when it becomes vacant next April”.

“I would like to thank Adam Kimber SC on his past seven years as Director of Public Prosecutions,” she said.

“This job is not an easy one and he has achieved quite a lot in his time in the role.

“I wish Mr Kimber all the best in his future endeavours”.

The DPP’s office said in an email response: “The Director does not propose to comment.”

Legal sources, though, have highlighted simmering resentments within the legal fraternity, telling InDaily that “the relationship between the DPP and the SA Police Association couldn’t be worse”.

Police Association president Mark Carroll declined to comment.

One legal insider also criticised the DPP’s office for prosecuting too many cases which had, in their view, marginal prospects for success, adding: “We’re not mourning his departure.”

But Kimber has previously pointed to a relative “funding shortfall” for his office, after a 2016 review found SA’s public prosecutors receive considerably fewer resources than their interstate counterparts, resulting in them delivering the nation’s lowest conviction rates, highest withdraw rates and longer-than-average case durations.

Pallaras today empathised with Kimber’s predicament, telling InDaily it was “a traumatic experience”.

“If they advertise the position when someone’s in the job, it can be taken as a vote of no confidence for the person in the chair,” he said.

“He may be feeling that.”

Responding to an initial story on AdelaideNow, Opposition frontbencher Tom Koutsantonis tweeted: “Why would the State Liberal Government not want to reappoint the DPP?”

“This raises serious questions… the DPP is one of the most important and trusted positions in the state – and effectively the DPP has just been sacked,” he wrote.

Kimber will continue in the role until April, with the Government advertising for a replacement from February.

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