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Stage 5 - Appeals

Assessment criteria

Applicants for an appeal

For legal aid to be granted to appeal an order made by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or Family Court the following tests must be satisfied:

Respondents for an appeal

For legal aid to be granted to appeal an order made by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or Family Court the following tests must be satisfied:

  • The applicant meets the means test.
  • The applicant meets guideline 14 – appeals.
  • The applicant meets the following components of the merits test:
    • Appropriateness of spending limited public funds test
    • Prudent self-funded litigant test

Decision makers of a higher delegation

Applications for aid to appeal a family law decision, where the grants officer has been unable to obtain a merit opinion from the in-house practice, will be considered by the assistant director grants.

Documentary requirements

Applications 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
  • Proof of your income and assets (refer to the means test)
  • A copy of the order
  • A copy of the reasons for judgment
  • For applicants, details as to why you think the decision is wrong and what order you are seeking.

Applications received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an application for aid through Grants Online and attach: 

  • Proof of income and assets (refer to the means test)
  • A copy of the order
  • A copy of the reasons for judgment
  • For applicants, details as to why you an appeal is sought and what order is the applicant seeking.

The following documents are to be retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:

Interpretation

Prospects of success

For applicant appeals, where no conflict of interest exists within Family Law Services, an applicant's prospects of success will be assessed by a senior officer in Family Law Services. If a conflict of interest exists a grants manager determines whether an independent opinion is required.

A grant of aid will be issued to solicitor/counsel to assess the applicant's prospects of success.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid for an opinion in relation to an applicant's prospects of success at appeal is:

FM5A – provide an opinion in relation to client’s prospects of success at appeal (in-house lawyer), or
FM5B – provide an opinion in relation to client’s prospects of success at appeal (preferred supplier and counsel).

The GSI or GSA clause code must not be included.

Extension(s) of aid

The grant of aid for representation at appeal is:

  • FM5C - Appeal to a single judge of the Family Court, or
  • FM5D - Appeal to the full court of the Family Court.

If the hearing of the appeal proceeds beyond one day, the FM5E grant of aid will be issued for each additional day.

Solicitors may also request additional funding outside the stage model; the criteria applied to these requests are contained within the nature and extent of funding section.

Retrospective contributions

If an appeal relates to property settlement, funding will be subject to the right to recover a retrospective contribution.

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (review of decisions).

Related Links & Information

Last updated 3 November 2021

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