Indictable offence(s) in the childrens court are not subject to guidelines or the merit test. For legal aid to be granted for plea of guilty or trial for specified proceedings in the childrens court the following test must be satisfied:
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,
- if applicable, proof of income and assets (refer to the means test).
Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system with an application request for matters being dealt with summarily and attach:
- a copy of the charge or charges such as a notice to appear, bench charge sheet or Queensland court brief (QP9) material.
- the "request to represent co-accused submission form" and where the request is submitted from Legal Aid Queensland a copy of the appropriate internal delegate approval (if applicable).
The following documents are retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:
- a completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form
- if applicable proof of income and assets (refer to the means test)
- all documentation as outlined in the case management standards - criminal law.
Indictable / non - indictable offences
All Criminal Code Act 1899 offences are indictable at the child’s election.
Offences which are not indictable include those charged under the Education (General Provisions) Act, Summary Offences Act, Police Powers and Responsibilities Act.
Moynihan reforms did not change children's elections in relation to criminal law offences
Children charged with indictable offences (all charges listed in the criminal code) have an election in relation to whether the matter can proceed to indictment or not if the offence has a maximum penalty of less than 14 years. Offences where the maximum penalty is 14 years or more must proceed by way of indictment.
Grant(s) of aid
The initial grant of aid for assistance in the childrens court is MG1.
Extension(s) of aid
Practitioners seeking an extension of aid to proceed to trial must complete a summary trial extension of aid request.
- The grant of aid for a summary trial (solicitor only) is MG2.
- The grant of aid for a summary trial where the solicitor will use counsel as an agent is MG3.
A grant of aid may be available for a summary trial with counsel if the extent of funding guidelines for counsel are met. The grant of aid for a summary trial with counsel is MG4.
Additional days of trial
Where the summary trial exceeds one day, an extension of aid is available for the additional days of trial (solicitor only), the grant of aid is MG5.
Where the summary trial exceeds one day, an extension of aid is available for the additional days of trial (counsel acting as an agent for the solicitor), the grant of aid is MG6.
Where a summary trial with counsel exceeds one day, an extension of aid is available for solicitor and counsel for the additional days. The grant of aid is MG7.
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).