Applications for legal aid for representation in a Meriba Omasker Dispensation Application matter in the Children’s Court of Queensland are not subject to the means or merits tests.
For legal aid to be granted the following the following must be satisfied:
- An in-house solicitor from Legal Aid Queensland has the capacity to represent the applicant.
Application received from client
Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:
- A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form, and
- Any other relevant document/s relating to the application.
Application received from preferred supplier or in-house solicitor
Preferred suppliers should refer any applicants to the Legal Aid Queensland Cairns office for information and advice.
In-house practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically apply for aid via the Grants Online system and advise whether the matter is a standard or complex matter.
Practitioners must also ensure that the following documents are retained on file:
- A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
The Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020 provides legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander families continued use of traditional child rearing practice.
The Act gives Torres Strait Islander families a process for making an application for legal recognition. If granted this will result in a permanent transfer of parentage from the biological parents to the cultural parents.
Standard and Complex matters
There are two levels of applications, standard and complex.
A standard matter may be where the other party has died, is unknown, or unable to be located.
A complex matter may be in circumstances where the child was conceived as a result of an offence, notifying the other party would place the applicant at an unacceptable risk of harm, or other special circumstances apply.
For complex matter requests, the solicitor will make an assessment of the complexity associated with the matter when submitting the application to grants.
Allocation of a solicitor
All Meriba Omasker matters will be allocated to Legal Aid Queensland in-house solicitors only. Meriba Omasker matters are not referrable to preferred suppliers.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for representation in a Meriba Omasker Dispensation Application standard matter is MO1 (solicitor only).
The grant of aid for representation in a Meriba Omasker Dispensation Application complex matter is MO2 (solicitor only).
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid funding for these types of matters may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).