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START OF Policies and procedures
START OF Grants Handbook
START OF What do we fund?
START OF Civil law
END OF Civil law
END OF What do we fund?
END OF Grants Handbook
END OF Policies and procedures
For legal aid to be granted to apply, vary or respond to an application for a protection order in the magistrates court the following tests must be satisfied:
Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance must forward all the following documents for assessment:
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance must electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system attaching:
The following documents are retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:
1 General Intimate Partner Violence Statistics, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse (February 2011).
2 Ibid; page 2
3 Schedule A of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services states - the priorities for family law matters relate to complex issues and fundamental matters necessary for the wellbeing of children and/or people who have experienced, are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing, family violence AND the Agreement between The State of Queensland and Legal Aid Queensland which prioritises domestic violence in civil law matters.
Domestic violence is defined as any of the following behaviours that a person commits against another person if a relevant relationship exists between the two persons. Behaviour that:
Relevant relationship includes:
Examples of where a domestic violence order is necessary or desirable includes:
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is a principal provider of representation for domestic violence proceedings.
When the QPS is the applicant a grant of legal assistance is not available for the aggrieved.
QPS can sometimes withdraw from acting in a matter before it is finalised. If this is the case a grant of legal aid may be available subject to the means test, guidelines 3 – domestic violence and the merits test.
QPS Operational Procedures Manual states:
The National Domestic Violence Scheme aims to increase protections for victims of domestic and family violence across Australian borders by automatically recognising and enforcing domestic violence orders issued in any Australian State or Territory. These orders are recognised as interstate orders.
In Queensland, a recognised interstate order is:
The National Domestic Violence Order Scheme did not introduce consistent domestic and family violence laws. Each State and Territory has domestic and family violence laws unique to that jurisdiction. The scheme does not lead to any standardisation of the conditions which appear on the domestic violence orders of the different jurisdictions, including those which are mandated as standard conditions on orders.
If the order was made before 25 November 2017, the order can be “declared” a national DVO. It can be enforced in all states and territories in Australia. In Queensland, an application to a Magistrates Court is made using the DV35 Application for declaration of a DVO to be a recognised interstate order. The respondent is not served with the application and it is an administrative process.
If the order was made after 25 November 2017, the order will apply automatically in all Australian states and territories and be included in a National register and enforced in all states and territories in Australia. In Queensland this is recorded in the Queensland Wide Interlinked Courts (QWIC) system.
After 25 November 2017 a DVO issued in New Zealand can be registered in any state or territory of Australia and will automatically be a recognised interstate order.
If an applicant for aid has a nationally recognised Domestic Violence order, aid will not be approved to obtain a Queensland Domestic Violence Order unless extra conditions are needed for protection or the application names a person not covered in the original order.
Legal Aid Queensland will only provide funding for proceedings in Queensland (Forum Test) where all relevant criteria are met.
Aid may be granted to vary a domestic violence order provided the applicant meets the merits test with regards to the reasonable prospects of success test and the appropriateness of spending limited public funds test. Examples where an order may need to be varied include:
An application can be made in any Australian jurisdiction for variation of a nationally recognised order. This means subject to certain requirements, Queensland orders can be varied interstate, and interstate orders varied in Queensland.
An application to vary is made in the same way as orders made in Queensland and applying the same criteria. A Queensland Court can vary an order that was made in any Australian state and territory. However, the court cannot vary an order if it is a kind of order that cannot be varied in the state in which the order was made.
Aid will be granted to respondents to domestic violence applications where evidence is provided which demonstrates the application by the aggrieved is unlikely to be successful and the respondent meets the means test and merits test.
Evidence should indicate that:
The grant of aid to apply, respond or vary a protection order in the magistrates court under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 is G7.
If the contested hearing in the magistrates court exceeds one day, an extension of aid is available under the G7B grant of aid.
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).