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Waiting time in criminal law matters

Assessment criteria

Waiting time in criminal law matters is payable only if the time spent waiting after the scheduled start time exceeds two hours and it was reasonable to wait.

Requirements

Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or in-house practitioners

When seeking a grant of aid for an waiting time the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through the Grants Online system along with the following details:

  • what time the proceedings were to begin
  • what was the matter listed for
  • when did the proceedings actually commence
  • how long they waiting in court for the proceedings to commence
  • when did the proceedings conclude
  • why they were required to wait.

Interpretation

Waiting time is not claimable:

  • for summary matters
  • for the time spent waiting after the scheduled court time is less than two hours
  • for lunch breaks
  • by counsel
  • when the practitioner attends to other business during the waiting time such as taking instructions from the client, appearing for another client or collecting prosecution material
  • for mentions
  • on sentence matters unless the time spent in court exceeds 3 hours
  • when a full day of court time is also claimed

If half a day court time is claimed then the maximum amount of waiting time that may be claimed is three hours.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid for waiting time in criminal law matters is WAT. This grant of aid is issued retrospectively and should be requested at the earliest convenience after the court appearance.

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).

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