For legal aid to be granted for the cross-examination of a protected witness the following must be satisfied:
- A person has been deemed a protected witness who cannot be cross examined by a defendant.
- The court has made an order pursuant to s 21O(4) of the Evidence Act 1977 for Legal Aid Queensland to provide a free grant of legal assistance to the defendant.
- The matter has been listed for a committal hearing in the Magistrates Court or a sentence or trial in the District or Supreme Court.
A copy of the order made pursuant to s 21O(4) of the Evidence Act 1977, a copy of the transcript, a copy of the verdict and judgement record, or a letter from the court confirming such order has been made.
A ‘protected witness’ includes:
- intellectually impaired persons
- victims of sexual offences
- victims of domestic violence offences
- victims in serious offences of violence.
The scheme only applies:
- trials and sentences in the Supreme and District courts
- committals in the Magistrates Court.
For cross examination of a protected witness in a summary trial for a domestic violence related offence see Cross-examine protected witness at trial in the Magistrates Court – DV related offence.
Allocation of a solicitor
Representation for the cross-examination of a protected witness in the Magistrates, District or Supreme Court will be provided on an in-house basis unless there is a conflict of interest.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for representation in the Magistrates Court to cross examine protected witness(es) at committal is WITA.
The grant of aid for representation in the District Court to cross examine a protected witness(es) is WITB.
The grant of aid for representation in the Supreme Court to cross examine a protected witness(es) is WITC.
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).