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Dr David Plater

Telephone +61 8 8313 0921
Position Deputy Director - SA Law Reform Institute
Fax +61 8 8313 4344
Building Ligertwood Building
Floor/Room 4 07a
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Law School

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Biography/ Background

David Plater worked for a number of years with the Crown Prosecution Service in Kent and London. He was a Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Youth and Inner London Crown Court branch of the CPS. He has also worked with the State DPP in South Australia. He still maintains a role in legal practice in South Australia. He has previously lectured at the University of South Australia and the University of Tasmania (where he retains a role as an Adjunct Lecturer).  He is currently Deputy Director of the South Australian Law Reform Institute based at the Adelaide Law school.   


Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws: Monash University

Master of Laws: Inns of Court Law School, City University, London, 2003 

PhD: University of Tasmania, 2011    




Awards & Achievements


Teaching Interests

    Advocacy, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Law Reform, Sentencing,



Research Interests

Prosecution Role and Discretion

Vulnerable Parties in the Criminal Justice System

Sentencing of Sexual Offenders

Prerogative of Mercy and Exercise of Death Penalty in 19th Century

Gender and Crime in 19th Century  

Research Funding

In 2013, David was part of a national team of researchers led by Professor Kate Warner of the University of Tasmania who were awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage grant of $252,124 to conduct an ongoing national study aimed at gauging informed public opinion on sentencing for sex offences by surveying the views of jurors in sex offence trials in all higher courts in Australia.


David Plater, '"Setting the Boundaries of Acceptable Behaviour"? South Australia's Latest Legislative Response to Revenge Pornography' (2016) 2 UniSA Student Law Review 77-95


David Plater, Matthew Goode, Colette Langos and Nicholas Crawford, 'Chapter 6: Non-Fatal Offences against the Person' in David Caruso, Rhain Buth, Mary Heath, Ian Leader-Elliott, Patrick Leader-Elliott, Ngaire Naffine, David Plater and Kellie Toole, South Australian Criminal Law: Review and Critique (2nd ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2016)


David Plater and Kellie Toole, 'Suppliers of Illegal Firearms Responsible for their Future Use' (2016) 41 Alternative Law Journal 139 


Lucy Line, Claire Wyld and David Plater, ‘Pre-trial Defence Disclosure in South Australian Criminal Proceedings: Time for Change?’ (2016) 37 Adelaide Law Review 101


Lucy Line and David Plater, 'Police, Prosecutors and Ex-Parte Public Interest Immunity Claims: The Use of Special Advocates in Australia' (2014) 33(2) University of Tasmania Law Review 255-299


David Plater and Sue Milne, ‘”All that's Good and Virtuous or Depraved and Abandoned in the Extreme”? Capital Punishment and Mercy for Female Offenders in colonial Australia, 1824 to 1865’, (2014) 33(1) University of Tasmania Law Review 83-140


Phoebe Bowden, Terese Henning and David Plater, 'Balancing Fairness to Victims, Society and Defendants in the Cross-Examination of Vulnerable Witnesses: an Impossible Triangulation'? (2014) 37 Melbourne University Law Review 539-584


David Plater and Penny Crofts, 'Bushrangers, the Exercise of Mercy and "the last Penalty of the Law" in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1824-1856' (2013) 32 University of Tasmania Law Review 295-343


David Plater, Joanne Duncan, Sue Milne, '"Innocent Victim of Circumstance" or "a Very Devil Incarnate"? The Trial and Execution of Elizabeth Woolcock in South Australia in 1873' (2013) 15 Flinders Law Journal 315-380


David Plater and Katherine Cashman, 'Chapter 6: Non-Fatal Offences against the Person' in David Caruso, Rhain Buth, Mary Heath, Ian Leader-Elliott, Patrick Leader-Elliott, Ngaire Naffine, David Plater and Kellie Toole, South Australian Criminal Law: Review and Critique (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2013)


David Plater, Lucy Line and Rhiannon Davies, 'The Schleswig-Holstein Question of the Criminal Law Finally Resolved? An Examination of South Australia's New Approach to the Use of Bad Character Evidence in Criminal Proceedings' (2013) 15 Flinders Law Journal 55-114


David Plater and Lucy Line, 'Has the Silver Thread of the Criminal Law Lost its Lustre? The Modern Prosecutor as a Minister of Justice' (2012) 31 University of Tasmania Law Review 54 – 94


David Plater and Sue Milne, '"The quality of mercy is not strained": the Norfolk Island mutineers and the exercise of the death penalty in colonial Australia 1824-1860' [2012] Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society e-Journal 1-43


David Plater and Sangeetha Royan, 'The Development and Application in Nineteenth Century Australia of the Prosecutor's Role as a Minister of Justice: Rhetoric or Reality?' (2012) 31 University of Tasmania Law Review 78-130


David Plater and Lucy DeVreeze, 'Is the Golden Rule of Full Prosecution Disclosure a Modern Mission Impossible?' (2012) 14 Flinders Law Journal 133-188


David Plater, 'The Development of the Prosecutor's Role in England and Australia with Respect to its Duty of Disclosure: Partisan Advocate or Minister of Justice?' (2008) 25 University of Tasmania Law Review 111-155


David Plater, 'The Development of the Role of the Prosecuting Lawyer in the Criminal Process: ‘Partisan Persecutor’ or ‘Minister of Justice’?' [2006] ANZLH E-Journal 1-33


Professional Associations

Law Societies of England and Ireland

International Association of Prosecutors

Institute of Judicial Administration

Member of Executive, Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society



Community Engagement

Mentor on the South Australian Indigenous Law Student mentor scheme

Entry last updated: Monday, 19 Dec 2016

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