For legal aid to be granted for an expert report from a clients treating medical practitioner the following tests must be satisfied:
- The report is likely to substantiate a defence to the charges (eg insanity), or
- 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 more than four hours is requested or the quote exceeds the equivalent of a four hour grant, the request 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. 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.
Aid may be granted for a treating medical practitioner to prepare a report when:
- The client is currently being treated by a medical practitioner, and
- No other reports have/are being sought by the legal practitioner for the same medical condition, and
- There is no other way to present the clients medical history to the court, and
- A report from the treating medical practitioner will result in a significant reduction in sentence or benefit the client’s defence.
Grant(s) of aid
Practitioners should provide a quote for the client’s treating medical practitioner to prepare the report.
There is a set scale of fees for a treating medical practitioners.
If the treating medical practitioner's quote is at the scale of fees rate the relevant grant of aid for a treating medical practitioner to prepare a report is MD4.
If the medical practitioners quote is at less than the scale of fees the COT grant of aid is issued with the relevant amount.