For legal aid to be granted for Senior Counsel (SC), Queen’s Counsel (QC) or dual counsel, the following tests must be satisfied:
- the applicant has been provided aid for the substantive matter, and
- the applicant meets the merits test.
Requests for aid for Senior Counsel, Queen’s Counsel or dual counsel will be referred to the assistant director grants for determination.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or in-house practitioners
If a practitioner requires aid for Senior Counsel, Queen’s Counsel or dual counsel the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through the Grants Online system and advise how the matter meets the merits test with particular reference made to "appropriateness of spending limited public legal aid funds" test, and the "prudent self-funding litigant" test.
With the exception of appeals in the High Court of Australia and the Court of Appeal, it is rare that aid will be approved for Queen’s Counsel or Senior Counsel to conduct a legal aid matter having regards to the merits test.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for Queen’s Counsel or Senior Counsel in a higher court matter is a QCF.
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).