Patrina Clohessy

Deputy Crown Solicitor and Chief Counsel

Patrina was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 15 June 1999 and gained considerable advocacy experience over a period of eighteen years with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) reaching the rank of Senior Crown Prosecutor before joining Crown Law as an Assistant Crown Solicitor in October 2015.

In her current role, Patrina leads an experienced legal branch comprising of barristers and solicitors who provide advice and advocacy services on behalf of the State of Queensland.

Key work performed within the branch includes:

  • managing the activities and work program of the legal practice of the Solicitor-General including constitutional litigation before the High Court
  • constitutional law advice and representation
  • proceedings under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003
  • proceedings under the Mental Health Act 2016 including proceedings in the Mental Health Court and Mental Health Review Tribunal
  • representation and advice to the Attorney-General in relation to intervention in proceedings in which a legal question arises under the Human Rights Act 2019.
  • conducting statutory prosecutions including workers’ compensation fraud, consumer fraud, OSR fraud, marine safety and pollution, public health, drugs and poisons, food safety and standards, electoral prosecutions and housing and education prosecutions
  • coronial inquiries
  • commissions of inquiry
  • QCAT representation
  • general court attendances
  • human rights advice and training
  • work health and safety advice and training
  • regulatory investigations and law enforcement advice and training
  • applications for indemnity and legal assistance for Government employees and others
  • advice and representation for the Attorney-General in relation to her role as the First Law Officer, including:
    • ministerial correspondence
    • grant of fiat
    • miscarriage of justice/petitions for pardons
    • vexatious litigants
    • parens patriae jurisdiction.
  • Counsel in Garlett v The State of Western Australia & Anor (HCA 2021) for the Attorney-General, led by the Solicitor-General with F Nagorcka-constitutional challenge to post sentence preventive detention scheme High Risk Serious Offenders Act (WA).
  • Counsel in Bell v State of Tasmania (HCA 2020) for the Attorney-General, led by the Solicitor-General – consideration of common law excuse of mistake of fact.
  • Counsel in Re Cresswell [2019] 1 QdR 403, led by S Ryan QC-landmark decision in Queensland dealing with the use of sperm which had been extracted post humously.
  • Appearing as counsel on behalf of the Attorney-General in numerous applications in the Supreme Court under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003.
  • Appearing as counsel on numerous occasions in the Mental Health Court and the Mental Health Review Tribunal on behalf of the DPP and the Attorney-General.
  • leading the legal representation on behalf of the State of Queensland for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, including appearing as junior counsel led by K Mc Millan QC.
  • Counsel for Queensland Health in the Crime and Corruption Commission Operation Impala Inquiry.
  • Junior counsel acting for Queensland Corrective Services in the Crime and Corruption Commission Taskforce Flaxton Inquiry into corruption risks in corrective services facilities led by C Murdoch QC.
  • Counsel assisting the Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Commission of Inquiry.
  • Member of the interagency Serious Offender and Dangerous Offender Assessment Committee which makes recommendations regarding whether to commence dangerous prisoner proceedings.
  • Appearing as counsel on behalf of the ODPP in numerous criminal jury trials for a variety of offences including sexual, violent, dishonesty, property and driving offences.
  • Appearing as counsel on behalf of the DPP in numerous hearings in the Magistrates, Childrens’, District and Supreme Courts including hearings involving the pre-recording of the evidence of children and other vulnerable witnesses including intellectually impaired witnesses, bail and directions hearings and numerous legal arguments involving a variety of issues including arguments about sufficiency of evidence, particulars, stay applications and applications to exclude evidence.
  • Appearing as counsel in numerous s 222 Justice Act appeals in the District Court and Sentence reviews in the Children's Court of Queensland.
  • Appearing as counsel in hundreds of criminal sentence proceedings in the superior courts for a variety of offences including drug, serious sexual and violent offending, property and dishonesty offending and dangerous driving causing death sentences.