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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • professional regulation matters
  • general court attendances
  • work health and safety advices
  • regulatory investigations and law enforcement
  • providing complex constitutional law advice (Commonwealth), including advice about:
    • inconsistency of Commonwealth and State laws
    • constitutional prohibitions on discrimination, including freedom of interstate trade and commerce
    • issues relating to the application of Chapter III of the Constitution, especially the principles referred to in Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) (1996) 189 CLR 51
    • identifying whether the imposition of a charge would involve an impermissible excise
    • the circumstances in which State legislation will bind the Commonwealth, and the application of State legislation to Commonwealth places or property
    • implied freedom of communication about government and political matters
    • issues arising in Federal/State cooperative schemes, including the referral of matters to the Commonwealth
    • the scope of Commonwealth powers, including the Commonwealth’s power to legislate in relation to corporations, arbitration, trade and commerce and external affairs
    • advices to the Attorney-General about notices issued pursuant to the s.78B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) and supervising the management and receipt of, and responses to, s 78B notices
  • State constitutional law matters, as required from time to time
  • applications for indemnity and legal assistance for Government employees and others
  • advices to 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.
  • 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 ODPP and the Attorney-General.
  • Counsel Assisting the Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Commission of Inquiry.
  • Junior Counsel acting for Queensland Corrective Services in the Crime and Corruption Commission Taskforce Flaxton Inquiry into corruption risks in corrective services facilities.
  • 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 District Court jury trials for a variety of offences including sexual, violent, dishonesty, property and driving offences.
  • Appearing as counsel on behalf of the ODPP 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.