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Apply for the complex criminal case barrister panel

On 15 June 2016, the Legal Aid Queensland Board approved the establishment of a single panel of barristers for complex criminal case matters (the panel) as set out in the complex criminal case barrister policy (the policy) for use by preferred supplier law firms and in-house lawyers.

For the purposes of the panel, a complex criminal case matter is a:

  • committal
  • trial
  • sentence
  • Mental Health Court hearing
  • appeal or
  • a matter under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 

where an expensive case grant of legal aid has been sought or issued or is likely to be sought or issued.

In-house lawyers and preferred suppliers are required to brief barristers on the panel for complex criminal case matters except in exceptional cases and with the approval of the chief executive officer.

The policy only applies to complex criminal case matters. Barristers who are not on the complex criminal case barrister panel may be briefed for all other legally aided matters where a grant of legal assistance exists to brief counsel.

Barristers not on the panel may be briefed for committals, trials, sentences, Mental Health Court hearings, appeals or matters under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 where only standard or extraordinary grants of legal aid have been issued or are likely to be issued and where no application for an expensive case grant of legal assistance will be made.

To be considered for panel membership, a barrister must meet the following selection criteria:

  1. hold a current unconditional Queensland practising certificate as a barrister
  2. have at least 5 years’ experience as counsel and/or solicitor advocate in criminal law matters, unless there are exceptional circumstances determined by the selection committee
  3. demonstrate an established professional reputation as a competent advocate with specialist knowledge of criminal law, evidence, procedure, and ethics and high level written and verbal communication skills
  4. not be or have been the subject of:
    1. adverse findings arising from professional disciplinary action taken against the applicant
    2. significant adverse findings or comments regarding the conduct of the applicant by any court or tribunal
    3. findings of guilt for any criminal offences other than minor traffic infringement offences against the applicant
    4. investigations of suspected or alleged criminal conduct on the part of the applicant, or

for any other reason, in the view of the selection committee, be unfit to practice as a barrister in complex criminal cases.

Application documents

For more information email barristerpanel@legalaid.qld.gov.au  

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