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Basis of determination of a grant of legal assistance

  1. Legal Aid Queensland may make a grant of legal assistance for an application for assistance that:

    a. is for assistance for a Commonwealth or a state law matter
    b. is within a Commonwealth legal aid priority or a state legal aid priority
    c. meets any guidelines set out in this Policy Manual that are relevant to the application
    d. meets the means test (unless otherwise specified)
    e. meets the merits test (unless otherwise specified), and
    f. meets the requirements of paragraph 3 below including the availability of funds.

  2. When determining whether a grant of legal assistance is to be made, Legal Aid Queensland should apply 1(a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) in that order.

    Note: The merits tests apply to all matters unless this Policy Manual indicates otherwise.

  3. If an application for a grant of legal assistance meets the above criteria, Legal Aid Queensland must determine, in accordance with this Policy Manual and after giving consideration to available Legal Aid funds and competing Legal Aid Priorities, whether a grant of legal assistance is to be made and, if so, the nature and extent of that grant. A grant of legal assistance will only be made if Legal Aid Queensland considers that sufficient funds are available. The amount of fees provided for a grant of aid will also depend upon there being sufficient funds available, including fees paid for expensive and extraordinary criminal law matters.
  4. If there is no guideline relating specifically to a Legal Aid Priority, Legal Aid Queensland may make a grant of legal assistance in the manner, and to the extent, it considers appropriate in that priority area.
  5. The Chief Executive Officer may use his or her discretion to authorise a grant of legal assistance where the following exist:
    • a court has made a recommendation that a person be granted legal assistance, and
    • the criteria in (1)(c), (d) or (e) are not met, and
    • there are exceptional circumstances.

Test cases - Commonwealth law matters

In considering whether to make a grant of legal assistance, Legal Aid Queensland may take into account whether funding is available from another Commonwealth scheme such as the Commonwealth Public Interest and Test Cases Scheme.

Note: Test case applications are submitted to the Grants director and determined by the CEO.

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