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The Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997 requires the board to establish a review mechanism it considers appropriate to review decisions made by Legal Aid Queensland about legal assistance.
The review mechanism applies to the following decisions:
The review mechanism has two processes as follows:
All review decisions are made having regard to the policies and guidelines published by Legal Aid Queensland.
Requests for internal review of a decision must be made in writing within 28 days of receipt of notice of the decision. Legal Aid Queensland may consider an extension of time to seek a review in exceptional circumstances.
Additional information may be submitted in support of an application for review.
The internal review of decisions in all categories is conducted by an officer of Legal Aid Queensland who was not involved in the initial decision and is of a higher classification than the initial decision maker. Where the Chief Executive Officer is the initial decision maker a request for review is referred directly to the external review process.
The reviewing officer will reconsider the matter taking into account all relevant information held by Legal Aid Queensland including any further information provided and issue a new written decision.
Applicants and, where the review request is submitted by the applicant's practitioner, the practitioner are notified of decisions under this process.
For internal review decisions where external review is not available (categories 6 - 12 above), and for internal review decisions (categories 1 - 5 above) where the applicant does not apply for an external review, the internal review decision is the final decision of Legal Aid Queensland.
If the applicant disagrees with the internal review decision in categories 1 - 5 above, the applicant may, within 28 days of notification of the internal review officer's decision, apply for review by an External Review Officer of the internal review decision.
Save where the decision relates to the imposition of an initial or retrospective contribution, an applicant whose matter is referred to an External Review Officer may request a telephone interview with the External Review Officer. Interviews may be conducted in the presence of the applicant's private solicitor, but no payment will be made to a solicitor for such attendance.
The External Review Officer will reconsider the matter taking into account all relevant information held by Legal Aid Queensland including the internal review decision and any further information provided, and issue a new written decision.
An External Review Officer may:
The decision of the External Review Officer is the final decision of Legal Aid Queensland.
Where there has been a material change in circumstances, a matter may be re-listed before the same External Review Officer at the discretion of the internal review officer.
External Review Officers are: