For legal aid to be grants for counsel in domestic violence hearings, the following tests must be satisfised:
- The applicant has been provided aid for the substantive matters, and
- The matter has been listed for a contested hearing, and
- One or more of the following special circumstances relate to the applicant:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability or longstanding ill health which makes it difficult for a solicitor to represent the applicant without counsel
- a party to the proceedings is a child
- there is QCAT or public guardian involvement
- a long standing dispute and:
- The request meets the merits test, and:
- The matter includes one or more of the following characteristics:
- a party has been charged with or convicted of a serious criminal offences, and there is a need for cross examination and:
- The alleged offences are against the other party to these proceedings or
- the alleged offences are against a child/ren who are named on the protection order
- there are current proceedings before the family law courts and any protection order made could affect the implementation of an order made in the family law courts
- there are current proceedings before the family law courts and there are allegations against the child/ren named on the protection order
- the admissibility of evidence is contested or matters of law will require significant and detailed legal argument
- there are special circumstances pertaining to the case e.g. complex area of law to be argued, significant financial abuse
- This matter is a test case or is of substantial public interest.
Requests for counsel at contested hearing in domestic violence protection order matters will be referred to a senior grants officer for consideration.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or in-house practitioners
When applying for aid for counsel in child protection matters the practitioner must submit the appropriate checklist through Grants Online.
A serious offence is an offence with actual violence, sexual assaults, threats of harm or stalking with intimidating and/or harassing behaviours.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for counsel to:
- Prepare for and attend day one is DV3
- Attend additional days hearing is DV3B
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).