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Community Legal Centres

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are non-profit organisations that work in partnership with Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) to provide a range of general and specialist legal services to the people of Queensland. They are a key component of Australia’s legal aid system and provide a distinctive form of service which complements the services provided by LAQ and the private legal profession.

As a general rule assistance provided by CLCs is free, although donations are always welcome.

Specialist services are available in relation to:

  • disability discrimination
  • specialist advice and referral service for at risk persons with a disability
  • child support
  • older person's outreach program
  • clinical legal education
  • environmental matters
  • financial counselling
  • youth
  • women
  • prisoners
  • immigration
  • tenancy
  • welfare rights
  • court support
  • domestic violence Mensline Court support
  • support for families with guardianship matters
  • representation and legal advocacy support to adults with capacity issues through GAAT (Guardianship and Administration Tribunal) process

Most centres are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. Each CLC is managed by a management committee. Many committee members are drawn from the local community and participate on a voluntary basis.

Legal Aid Queensland is responsible for managing the Community Legal Service program throughout Queensland on behalf of both the federal and state governments.

Funding for the program is provided from the following sources:

  • Commonwealth Government (Attorney-General’s Department)
  • Queensland Government (Department of Justice and Attorney-General)
  • Legal Practitioners Interest on Trust Account Fund (LPITAF).

Applications for grants of legal assistance

Applications for grants of legal assistance which are received from Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are processed in the same way as all other applications.

Allocation of a solicitor

If an application for legal assistance is received from a CLC and legal assistance is approved, the grant of aid will be referred back to the CLC unless otherwise stated and providing that the CLC policy is met.

Grant(s) of aid

Community Legal Centres are not entitled to claim fees for professional work. Grants of aid issued to CLC’s are limited to the standard counsel’s fees and disbursements for the relevant stage of proceedings.

Criminal Law

Grants of aid issued to CLC’s are limited to standard counsel fees and disbursements for relevant stages of proceedings.

The disbursement payable to CLC’s includes travel, accommodation and expert reports. Conduct money and nominal outlays such as the cost of phone calls, facsimiles and photocopying are not payable.

The CLC applicant for legal aid must satisfy Legal Aid Queensland’s means, guideline and merits test (where applicable).

 

Code

Short description

Committal Hearing

MR1A

Counsel engagement in the early stages of proceedings

MR4

Counsel to make a formal summary application to the magistrate

MR8

Counsel to appear at day one of committal

MR7

Counsel to appear at additional days of committal

Plea of guilty

BCF

District court plea of guilty (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCC1

CCQ plea of guilty (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCJ

Supreme Court plea of guilty (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Pre-trial hearings

BPTD

Pre trial hearing in the district court (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BPTS

Pre trial hearing in the Supreme Court (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Prepare for trial

BCG

District court examine depositions, conference and negotiation (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCCG

CCQ examine depositions, conference and negotiation (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BKC

Supreme Court examine depositions, conference and negotiation (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Day one of trial

BCY

District court day one of trial (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCCY

CCQ day one of trial (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCZ

Supreme Court day one of trial (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Additional days of trial

BCY1

District court additional days of trial (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCD2

CCQ additional days of trial (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCZ1

Supreme Court additional days of trial (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Bail

BCV

Supreme Court bail application (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Investigate prospects of appeal

BCM

Court of Appeal investigate prospects of appeal (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCS

High Court of Australia investigate prospects of appeal (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Day one of appeal

BCN

Court of Appeal day one of an appeal against sentence (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCP

Court of Appeal day one of an appeal against conviction (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCQ

Court of Appeal day one of an appeal against conviction and sentence (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCT

High Court of Australia day one of appeal (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Additional days of appeal

BCN1

Court of Appeal additional days of an appeal against sentence (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCP1

Court of Appeal additional days of an appeal against conviction (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCQ1

Court of Appeal additional days of an appeal against conviction and sentence (Replacement counsel / CLC)

BCT1

High Court of Australia additional days of appeal (Replacement counsel / CLC)

Family law

Legal aid can be granted through CLC’s in family law proceedings where counsel is approved.

Grants of aid issued to CLC’s are limited to the standard counsel fees and disbursements for the relevant stage of proceedings.

The disbursements payable to CLC’s include travel, accommodation and expert reports. Conduct money and nominal outlays such as the cost of phone calls, facsimiles and photocopying are not payable.

The CLC applicant for legal aid must satisfy Legal Aid Queensland's means, guidelines and merit test (where applicable).

Family dispute resolution conferences

A grant of legal assistance for CLC’s to represent clients at legal aid family dispute resolution conferences provides access to the dispute resolution service. This is not a grant for which counsel is available or provided and no fees are payable.

CLC applications may be for:

  • Applicants to initiate the conference process or
  • Respondents where the other party already has a grant of aid for the conferencing process.

If the issues are not resolved at the conference and the CLC continues to act for the client any further grants are limited to stages where a grant of aid for counsel is available.

If the issues are not resolved at the conference and the CLC is no longer acting, the client may apply for a grant of aid and if approved be referred to an in-house solicitor or preferred supplier.

 

Code

Short description

CFFF

CLC Initial Conditional Conference grant of aid

CF1A

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) representation at a family dispute conference (early intervention) (CLC)

CF1B

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) representation at a family dispute resolution conference (litigation intervention) (CLC)

Family law proceedings

 

Code Short description
FMC1 Counsel at interim hearing (only available for complex matters)
FMC2 Counsel to prepare for standardtrial
FMP2 Additional preparation for counselwhere trial is listed for 3 or 4 days (counsel component only)
FMP3 Additional preparationfor counsel where trial is listed for 5 or 6 days (counsel component only)
FMP6 Additional preparation for counsel where trial is listed for 7 or more days
FMC3 Counsel days of trial
FMP8 Additional preparation for counsel where a trial is adjourned or part heard
FM5C Appeal to Single Judge including day one of appeal(counsel component only)
FM5D Appeal to Full Court including day one of appeal (counsel component only)
FM5E Additional days of appeal (counsel component only)
FM5G Additional preparation for appeal for counsel

Civil law

Legal aid can be granted through CLC’s in civil law proceedings where counsel is approved.

Grants of aid issued to CLC’s are limited to the standard counsel fees and disbursements for the relevant stage of proceedings.

The disbursements payable to CLC’s include travel, accommodation and expert reports. Conduct money and nominal outlays such as the cost of phone calls, facsimiles and photocopying are not payable.

The CLC applicant for legal aid must satisfy Legal Aid Queensland's means, guidelines and merit test (where applicable).

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