Counsel in Domestic Violence matters

On this page:

(show below)(hide below)

    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.

    Documentary requirements

    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).

    Last updated 31 August 2023