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START OF Policies and procedures
START OF Grants Handbook
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The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd is a non-profit, community based Indigenous organisation who is the primary legal service provider to Indigenous Queensland in areas of criminal, civil and family law.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service was formed:
All of the above are part of a negotiated agreement with the office of the Attorney General’s which has been developed under the Australian Aboriginal Legal Services Policy Guidelines.
The key areas of service delivery are:
Legal Aid Queensland partners with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in the delivery of legal assistance to eligible Indigenous people.
Applications for grants of legal assistance which are received from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSILS) are processed in the same way as all other applications.
If an application for legal assistance is received from ATSILS on behalf of a client and legal assistance is approved, the grant of aid will be referred back to ATSILS unless stated otherwise.
Legal aid can be granted through ATSILS in criminal law proceedings in the District and Supreme Courts and in committals which will proceed to the Supreme Court. Legal Aid is not generally approved to ATSILS for committals which will proceed to the District Court, however if an application is received, it will be considered. The criteria for funding ATSILS can be found in the Grants Policy Manual.
Grants of aid issued to ATSILS are limited to the standard counsel’s fees and disbursements for the relevant stage of proceedings.
The disbursements payable to ATSILS include travel, accommodation and expert reports. Conduct money and nominal outlays such as the cost of phone calls, facsimiles and photocopying are not payable.
The ATSILS applicant for legal aid must satisfy Legal Aid Queensland's means, guidelines and merit test (where applicable).
If a preferred supplier applies for aid on behalf of an applicant who has been referred to them by ATSILS, solicitor's professional fees are payable unless it has been made clear to both the preferred supplier and Legal Aid Queensland that ATSILS are paying the firm's professional fees.
Prior to requesting aid to represent more than one legally aided co-accused, ATSILS undertake their own internal procedure (Grants of Aid (from LAQ) in relation to more than one co-accused). A copy of the ATSILS internal approval must be attached with the request for aid.
Where the ATSILS internal approval form is not attached this application must be allocated to a different law practice.
District court examine depositions, conference and negotiation (ATSILS)
Legal Aid can be granted through ATSILS in family law proceedings where counsel is approved. The criteria for funding ATSILS in family law proceedings can be found in the Grants Policy Manual.
ATSILS can represent either the applicant or respondent at a Legal Aid Queensland family dispute resolution conference. A grant of legal assistance for ATSILS to represent clients at legal aid family dispute resolution conferences provides access to the dispute resolution service. This is not a grant for which counsel is available or provided and no fees are payable.
Legal aid can be granted through ATSILS in child protection proceedings where counsel is approved. The criteria for funding ATSILS in child protection proceedings can be found in the Grants Policy Manual.
Applicable grants of aid can be found in the Child Protection - Party, Non-Party, Child (direct representation) section of the Grants handbook
Legal Aid is not generally approved to ATSILS for committals which will proceed to the district court, however, should an application be received, it should be referred to a grants manager for determination.
If ATSILS seek a disbursement only grant for an appeal against conviction and/or sentence from the district or Supreme Courts, the matter should be referred to a grants manager for determination.
A request by ATSILS to brief senior counsel should be referred to the Grants director for determination.