In this section
START OF Policies and procedures
START OF Grants Handbook
START OF What do we fund?
START OF Nature and extent of funding
END OF Nature and extent of funding
END OF What do we fund?
END OF Grants Handbook
END OF Policies and procedures
For legal aid to be granted to brief counsel in the early stages of a serious criminal law matter prior to the committal hearing the following tests must be satisfied:
If a practitioner requires aid for counsel in the early stages of committal proceedings the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through the Grants Online system and advise how the matter meets the merits test and details of how the matter is of sufficient public interest or complexity which warrants counsel.
With the exception of a charge of murder the gravity of charges alone would generally not be considered as sufficient to warrant the funding of counsel.
The fact that there are numerous witnesses in a matter is not sufficient to warrant funding in accordance with this guideline.
Funding for counsel at this stage of proceedings will be granted when Legal Aid Queensland considers that counsel is warranted due to one or more of the following:
Voluminous material in isolation is insufficient to warrant funding in accordance with this guideline. When seeking aid for counsel on the basis of this guideline, the practitioner must provide detailed information in relation to the nature of the material or details of the excessive resources that have been used by the crown to the assessing officer.
For the purpose of this guideline Legal Aid Queensland regards numerous co-accused as three or more however this in isolation would not be sufficient to warrant the funding of counsel.
If children or special witnesses are to be cross-examined aid for counsel will be approved.
When seeking aid for counsel at this stage of proceedings, the practitioner must provide detailed information in this regard to the assessing officer. If it is determined that significant and detailed legal argument is required, aid for counsel will be provided.
For counsel to be funded at this stage of proceedings, Legal Aid Queensland will consider the nature of the expert witnesses and may consider funding counsel when:
The grant of aid for counsel to be engage in the early stages of committal hearing is MR1A.
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).