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Preferred supplier newsletter—December 2021

This month:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
  • Family Law Property Mediation Pilot update
  • Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court
  • Continuing professional development
  • Feedback

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

The latest information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) for preferred suppliers can be viewed here.

Family Law Property Mediation Pilot update

The lawyer-assisted family law property mediation and arbitration pilot (2020-21) has been extended a further 18 months to 30 June 2023.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has been appointed by the Federal Government to evaluate the pilot conducted by Legal Aid commissions.

The AIFS is seeking to interview legal representatives, family dispute resolution practitioners and arbitrators who have participated in the pilot. If you would like to participate in an interview with a researcher to give feedback, please see the link.

The AIFS is also seeking to interview clients who have participated in the pilot. The first five participants will receive a $30 grocery voucher. For information to give to your client about participating in an interview, please see the link.

If you have any questions about the evaluation, please contact the AIFS researchers.

More information about Legal Aid Queensland’s pilot can be found here.

Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court

The Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court (QDAC) is still accepting referrals.

The QDAC can receive referrals from any Magistrates Court in Queensland. Typically though, the referrals come from courts in South East Queensland, given one of the criteria for referral is residing in, or intending to reside in the Brisbane Magistrates Court boundary area. If your client is in any correctional centre, they can be referred if they instruct you, they would be willing to reside in Brisbane area. The QDAC has treatment options at residential rehabilitation units, and also Anglicare Southern Queensland are an agency working with QDAC clients to assist with accommodation and accommodation support.

There are referral criteria. You will find the criteria listed on the Referral Form 1. A completed Form 1 needs to be tendered to the Magistrates Court when a defendant is seeking a QDAC referral. You should find printed Form 1s at most Magistrates Court registries, but it might be helpful to have a couple printed, for your own duty lawyer folders.

Please ensure that any referral meets these Form 1 criteria and contact the Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) Drug and Alcohol Court team if you want to discuss any potential referral, particularly where your client resides outside the Brisbane area.

The Police Prosecution Corps QDAC have indicated that as QDAC is a sentencing court, and the expectation on the Form 1 is the defendant has indicated a plea of guilty, they will not entertain major case conferencing pre-sentence so please ensure that most case conferencing is resolved prior to referral to QDAC.

If you have any questions about referral or QDAC in general, please contact Penny Williams or a member of the team via LAQDrugandAlcoholCourtTeam@legalaid.qld.gov.au or 0437 918 691.

Please note: QDAC DJAG employs a Cultural Liaison Officer to support Indigenous clients with the conditions of a treatment order.

Continuing professional development

Recorded CPD seminars are available on Grants Online under the Information Resources tab.

Feedback

We welcome feedback and comments from clients, the community and our suppliers. As preferred suppliers you play an important role in helping us to provide quality legal services to disadvantaged Queenslanders. . If you would like to provide comments or suggestions to us about our services, policies, processes or staff members, you can complete a contact form or email us at complaints@legalaid.qld.gov.au at any time.

Your feedback is important to us. We ensure a senior staff member investigates all issues raised thoroughly and we analyse all feedback every quarter to see what processes and services can be improved.

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