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Guidelines - State - Civil

Guideline 1 - Child Protection

1. A grant of legal assistance is available for representation in proceedings under the Child Protection Act 1999.

Parties

1.1 A grant of legal assistance is available for parties to be represented at proceedings for a Court Assessment Order initiated by the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor.

1.2 A grant of legal assistance is available for parties to be represented in child protection proceedings initiated by the Director of Child Protection Litigation for all events related to the proceedings. The merits test applies only to applications for assistance for contested hearings (interim or final).

1.3 Applications for representation of parties in contested child protection hearings are subject to the following additional guidelines:

  • It is more likely than not that with legal representation the applicant will obtain a different outcome from that sought by the Director of Child Protection Litigation; or
  • Legal representation is required to assist the court to determine the application under the Child Protection Act 1999.

Non-Parties

1.4 A grant of legal assistance is available for non-parties to be represented in court proceedings to the extent ordered by the court and subject to the same requirements as parties.

Direct Representation

1.5 A grant of legal assistance may be available for children subject of child protection proceedings where the child is assessed as competent to provide instructions and is seeking direct representation.  The means test does not apply.

Separate Representation

1.6 A grant of legal assistance is available for separate representation of children at all stages of the proceedings where a separate representative is appointed by the court.  The means test does not apply.

Other matters

1.7 A grant of legal assistance may be available after a final order is made to negotiate with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services,  including representation at a Family Group Meeting, convened under the Child Protection Act 1999.  The merits test does not apply.

1.8 A grant of legal assistance may be available for parties to make an application to revoke or vary a child protection order.

1.9.1 A grant of legal assistance may be available for a parent, child or the separate representative to appeal against a child protection order or a Court Assessment Order (not a Temporary Assessment Order or a Temporary Custody Order).

1.9.2 In addition, legal assistance may be granted to respond to an appeal initiated by the Director of Child Protection Litigation or the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor. The merits test does not apply.

1.10 A grant of legal assistance may be available to apply to QCAT for review of an administrative decision made by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Guideline 2 — Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003

A grants of legal assistance is available in relation to applications pursuant to the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 as follows:

  • Where the applicant is seeking to respond to an application by the Attorney-General. Applications are not subject to the merits test.
  • Where the applicant is seeking to initiate an application, vary or appeal an order.

Guideline 3 Domestic Violence

A grant of legal assistance is available to:

  1. Make an application for or respond to an application for Domestic Violence Orders and subsequent appeals where:
    1. a. For an application for Domestic Violence Orders
      1. i. An act of domestic violence has occurred and a domestic violence order is necessary or desirable to protect the applicant and/or their children from domestic violence, or
      2. ii. The Queensland Police Service has commenced acting in an application on behalf of the aggrieved but are no longer able to act.
    2. b. For responding to applications for Domestic Violence Orders
      • The respondent provides evidence which demonstrates the application by the aggrieved is unlikely to be successful.
    3. c. Vary a Domestic Violence Order.

Guideline 4 - Anti-Discrimination

Legal Aid Queensland may make a grant of legal assistance for an equal opportunity or discrimination case if there is a strong prospect of substantial benefit being gained by the applicant and by the public or a section of the public in relation to the matter.

Guideline 5 - Inquests

A grant of legal assistance is available for legal representation at a Coronial Inquest where:

  • The applicant has in some way been involved in the death or deaths and may be criminally charged, or
  • There is a substantial public interest element, or
  • The applicant for aid is a relative of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who died in custody.

Related matter: A grant of legal assistance may also be available to provide legal representation for families before Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) enquiries related to the death in custody of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

Guideline 6 - Mental Health Review Tribunal

A grant of legal assistance is available for matters as follows:

  • Representation of the patient
    • Before the Mental Health Review Tribunal on an application by the patient or on statutory review.
    • In respect of an application for a confidentiality order. Applications are not subject to the merits test.
    • Upon request by the presiding member of the tribunal pursuant to sections 450, 451, 452 or 453. Applications are not subject to the merits test.

Guideline 7 - Mental Health Court

A grant of legal assistance is available for representation in the Mental Health Court for:

  • Representation of an applicant charged with an indictable offence who is referred to the Mental Health Court. Applications are not subject to the merits test.
  • Representation of the patient before the Mental Health Court on appeal from a decision of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

Guideline 8 - Peace And Good Behaviour Applications

A grant of legal assistance may be available for applications for Peace and Good Behaviour Orders:

  • in extremely perilous situations, and
  • in circumstances where the application is not suitable for referral to the Dispute Resolution Centre.

Guideline 9 - Specialist Medical Procedures

A grant of legal assistance is available for the separate representation of children with an intellectual impairment in relation to applications for special medical procedures in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Applications are not subject to the means or merits tests.

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