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Stage three - Prepare for contested final hearing

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted for a Separate Representative to make an application for or respond to an interim hearing the following tests must be satisfied:

Documentary requirements

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an extension request via Grants Online attaching the appropriate checklist and include the following (if applicable):

  • Social assessment report, or
  • Psychologist report

Interpretation

Guideline 1.6

Legal Aid Queensland will determine guideline 1.6 is satisfied if an order has been made pursuant to section 110 of the Child Protection Act 1999.

The merits test

Due to the nature of the cases where separate representatives are appointed by the court, Legal Aid Queensland will normally consider that most matters will meet the merits test. However, Legal Aid Queensland will have regard to the merits test with particular reference to the appropriateness of spending limited public funds test.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid to prepare for a contested final hearing and appear at two court attendances for Separate Representatives is:

  • SR9– preparation for contested final hearing – solicitor (child protection)

This is a maximum fee grant of aid that allows for preparation for the contested final hearing and appearance at two court attendances.

Extension(s) of aid

Attendances

The SR3 grant of aid is available if a practitioner is required to attend at more court attendances than provided on any existing grants of aid.

The SR3 grant of aid allows for appearances at a further 2 attendances and can be issued more than once if required.

Court attendances include appearances at court for a mention, hearing, or attendances to inspect subpoena material.

Family group meetings / case plan review meetings

The SR6 grant of aid is available if the separate representative is required to attend a further family group meeting or case plan review meeting during stage three of proceedings.

Counsel

An extension of aid of may be available for counsel at contested final hearing if the nature and extent of funding criteria are met.

Other extensions

An extension of aid may be available for additional preparation for an adjourned trial if the nature and extent of funding criteria are met.

If the matter proceeds beyond stage three, extensions of aid may be available to continue representation at the following stages:

 

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).

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