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Preferred supplier newsletter—May 2019

This month:

  • Grants Online availability
  • Limited financial verification for low risk representation matters
  • Circuit counsel
  • Independent Children’s Lawyer and Separate Representative Agreements Expiry
  • Upcoming CPD events

Grants Online availability

Grants Online resources have been restored!

As you are probably aware, Grants Online has been experiencing some technical difficulties which meant that users were unable to access certain resources (ie child protection database, comparable sentences database, continuing professional development, printable merit checklists, co-accused form, expensive case claim form etc). Users were receiving a 401 error message (unauthorised – access is denied due to invalid credentials). This has now been resolved and the resources are back online.

We thank you for your patience while we resolved this issue.

Limited financial verification for low risk representation matters

LAQ is implementing a new risk management framework in grants. Under this framework low risk matters will require less detailed verification for the purposes of determining financial eligibility of clients who are or were (prior to being remanded) in receipt of a full Centrelink benefit. Higher risk matters will continue to require additional supporting material for the purposes of verification of financial eligibility and for some matters additional material may be requested.

This new process comes into effect, Monday 10 June 2019 and full details in relation to the process are available in this announcement.

Circuit counsel

Are you aware that LAQ has a circuit court briefing policy and that inclusion on the preferred supplier panel requires firms to comply with the circuit court briefing policy?

There are a number of areas throughout Queensland where circuit courts have been established for District and Supreme Court sittings and the locations of these courts can be obtained from the circuit court briefing policy.  Circuit courts currently operate in the following locations:

Supreme Court:

  • Bundaberg
  • Maryborough
  • Mount Isa

District Court:

  • Bowen
  • Bundaberg
  • Cape
  • Charleville/Cunnamulla
  • Charters Towers
  • Dalby
  • Emerald
  • Gladstone
  • Goondiwindi
  • Gulf
  • Gympie
  • Hervey Bay
  • Innisfail
  • Kingaroy
  • Longreach
  • Maryborough
  • Mount Isa
  • Roma
  • Stanthorpe
  • Warwick

Under the preferred supplier agreement, clause, 4.17(d), if LAQ directs the briefing of particular counsel, the preferred supplier must brief that particular counsel. 

If a matter is being heard in a circuit court, Counsel will be appointed by LAQ. If you have any questions about the appointed Counsel for particular sittings, please contact the Senior Chambers Officer on (07) 3917 0438. 

Independent Children’s Lawyer and Separate Representative Agreements Expiry

The current Independent Children’s Lawyer and Separate Representative Agreement is due to expire 31 July 2019 and existing Independent Children’s Lawyers and Separate Representatives who want to remain on the panel will need to reapply.

The application guidelines document and agreement are currently being revised and will be distributed soon. Exiting Independent Children’s Lawyers and Separate Representatives will receive an email once the documents are released. The documents will also be made available on the ‘For Lawyers’ page of the LAQ website become a legal aid service provider

New applicants who want to be included on the panel will also be able to apply. The final selection criteria will be detailed in the application guidelines document but includes a requirement that:

  • If applying for inclusion on the Independent Children’s Lawyer sub panel the applicant must have practiced as a legal practitioner in family law for at least 5 years. 
  • If applying for inclusion on the Separate Representative sub panel, the applicant must have practiced as a legal practitioner in child protection in the capacity of a legal representative for respondents for at least 5 years.
  • The applicant must demonstrate an advanced level of experience and competence in:
    • the area of family law, if applying for inclusion on the Independent Children’s Lawyer sub panel; and
    • the area of child protection law, including extensive knowledge of Queensland child protection legislation and procedures and experience in providing advice, preparation, representation and advocacy to respondents in child protection proceedings, if applying for inclusion on the Separate Representative sub panel.
  • The applicant must demonstrate:
    • if applying for inclusion on the Independent Children’s Lawyer sub panel
    • that they have undertaken the National Independent Children’s Lawyer Training Course within the last 3 years or, if such training was undertaken more than 3 years prior to the date of their application, that they have otherwise maintained an acceptable level of on-going training in the area of family law;
    • if applying for inclusion on the Separate Representative sub panel — that they have undertaken the LAQ Separate Representative Training and Child Protection Masterclass  training or any other separate representative training approved by LAQ, within the last 3 years.

Please refer to the application guidelines for new applicant document once it is released for the full selection criteria.  

Upcoming CPD events

Child protection training — Monday 10 June

Thank you to everyone who attended the child protection training on Monday 13 May which aimed to enhance practitioners’ knowledge of the recent legislative amendments to the Child Protection Act. This session, and the one being hosted on Monday 10 June, follow on from the 2018 webinar series, which provided a complete overview of the child protection system — from notification and investigation by Child Safety through to proceedings in the Childrens Court and QCAT.

The last scheduled session will be hosted Monday, 10 June 1pm to 2pm AEST and is titled - Amendments to the Child Protection Act — permanency and information sharing. You can participate via:

  • Webinar registration
  • Face to face registration (fully booked)
  • View the recording -  available on request 48 hours following the event.

For more information call 3238 3500 or email learning@legalaid.qld.gov.au

For all upcoming CPD events, please see the For Lawyers page on Legal Aid Queensland website.

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