Sally Dowling SC Barrister | Wardell Chambers Sydney

Sally Dowling SC

Called to the bar in 1997, silk in 2013
Areas of practice
Sally Dowling SC commenced practice as a barrister in 1997 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013.
Sally has extensive experience in criminal law, in both trials and appeals. Sally practised as a NSW Crown Prosecutor between 2002 and 2018, during which time she appeared as:
  • Lead counsel in more than 300 appeals in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, including conviction and sentence appeals in cases of murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, fraud and other serious indictable offences
  • Lead counsel in two appeals in the High Court of Australia (RP v The Queen (2016, doli incapax) and IL v The Queen (2017, joint criminal enterprise)) and in 15 applications for special leave to appeal to the High Court; and otherwise appeared as counsel in HCA appeals and applications including Achurch v The Queen (2014, resentencing), The Queen v Beckett (2015, attempt to pervert the course of justice), Antoun v R (2006, apprehension of bias) and Dhanhoa v R (2003, identification evidence, lies)
  • Over 65 jury trials in the District Court and Supreme Court

Between 2013 and 2018, Sally was Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor and head of the appeals unit of the NSW Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. In that capacity Sally was responsible for managing the ODPP appeals practice in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal and she regularly appeared in, and gave advice about, complex criminal appeals.
During 2019, Sally was Senior Counsel assisting the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice”, leading a team of three junior counsel, five solicitors and eight policy researchers.
Since 2017 Sally has been a member of the Racing Appeals Tribunal, which hears appeals in thoroughbred racing, harness racing and greyhound racing throughout NSW.
Between 1995 and 2002 Sally practised in commercial law, first as a judge’s associate in the Federal Court, then as a solicitor and from 1997 to 2002 at the commercial Bar. During that period, she gained experience in a wide range of areas of legal practice, including commercial / equity disputes, intellectual property, administrative law, tort and personal injury claims, employment law and disciplinary proceedings.
Sally is currently a member of the Education Committee of the NSW Bar Association, and previously was a long-term member of the Criminal Law Committee and a member of various Professional Conduct Committees.