For legal aid to be granted for an expert report from a client's treating medical practitioner the following tests must be satisfied:
- The report directly relates to the proposed plea and it is likely to result in a significant reduction in the sentence that might otherwise be expected, and
- The material cannot be presented to the court without obtaining the report, and
- the applicant has been provided aid for the substantive matter, and
- the applicant meets the merits test.
If the number of hours sought exceeds 12 hours the matter will be referred to a Senior Grants Officer for consideration.
If the report writer refuses to accept the scale of fees to prepare the report or appear as a witness, the request will be referred to a Grants Manager for consideration.
Requests for an interstate report writer are determined by the Assistant Director Grants.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an extension of aid request via the Grants Online system and include details of the number of hours sought to prepare the report, details as to why the report is required and details of the medical specialist's specialisation. The practitioner must also provide information to support the merits test with regards to the “appropriateness of spending limited public Legal Aid funds" test, and the "prudent self-funding litigant" test.
Medical specialists are those doctors who have completed post graduate studies in an area of specialisation such as a pathologist, neurologist or oncologists.
For aid to be granted for a medical specialist to prepare a report, the practitioner is required to certify that expert medical evidence is relied upon to support the prosecution case and an independent report is required for the defence of the matter.
NOTE: Psychologists, including Clinical Psychologists and Forensic Psychologists are not considered to be medical specialists. Please refer to the Pre-sentence report, Psychological brief assessment and report, Psychological long assessment and report or Psychological neurological assessment and report pages for further details.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for a medical specialist report is MS2.