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Counsel at interim hearing

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted for counsel at an interim hearing, the following tests must be satisfied:

  • The applicant has been granted aid for the substantive matter, and
  • Counsel is required at the interim hearing as the matter is complex in nature, and
  • There is a need for cross examination, and
  • The request meets the merits test.

Decision makers of a higher delegation

All requests for counsel at an interim hearing will be referred to a senior grants officer for consideration.

If the matter has exceed or will exceed the cap as outlined in guideline 18.2 - limit on costs the matter will be referred to a grants manager for consideration.

Requirements

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

When seeking a grant of aid for counsel at an interim hearing, the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through the Grants Online system with the relevant information request.

Interpretation

The matter is complex in nature

Legal Aid Queensland may consider a matter is complex and warrants counsel at interim hearing. Some examples include:

  • The orders sought at interim hearing are an untested area of law.
  • The Department of Child Safety has brought an application in the Family Law Courts.
  • The matter involves international law.
  • The matter involves issues relating to special medical procedures such as sterilisation.

There is a need for cross examination

As interim hearings are usually heard based on the application and affidavit material alone, witnesses are not normally cross examined. As such, Legal Aid Queensland will not normally provide funding for counsel.

Legal Aid Queensland may only consider funding counsel where consent has been given for cross examination and the person being cross examined is an expert whose evidence is highly contested.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid for counsel to an interim hearing is FMC1.

Retrospective contributions

If the dispute includes property settlement, funding will be provided subject to the right to recover a retrospective contribution.

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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