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Preferred supplier newsletter—February 2021

This month: 

  • Court-based family dispute resolution conferences
  • Statement from the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  • Online applications for Supreme and District Court consent listings in criminal jurisdiction
  • Equitable briefing policy
  • Continuing professional development
  • Feedback

Court-based family dispute resolution conferences

In November 2020, the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court implemented a court-based family dispute resolution service. This court-event was not previously included in the Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) stage of matter funding model. From Monday 22 February 2021, funding was made available for these court-based family dispute resolution conferences on a trial basis. A new grant of aid will be made available for preparation and attendance at a court-based family dispute resolution conference, with LAQ in-litigation conferences (not court-based) still available in the model.

To support this new grant of aid being available, only one in-litigation conference (court-based or LAQ FDR) is available per matter. Full details are available in the Grants Handbook.

For more information, please contact Tony Ashworth, Manager, Grants Functional Support Team on (07) 3917 0928 or LAQGrantsBusinessImprovement@legalaid.qld.gov.au

Statement from the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia has issued a media release in response to the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court merger. The statement can be viewed here

Online applications for Supreme and District Court consent listings in criminal jurisdiction

From Monday 22 February, practitioners may apply online for the consent listing of hearings in the criminal jurisdiction of the Brisbane Supreme and District Courts.

Please see information provided by the courts about this new Listings Portal

A Proctor article has also been prepared by Queensland Law Society about this, see here

You can locate the portal through the Queensland Courts website here

Equitable briefing policy    

A reminder that in 2017 LAQ endorsed the Law Council of Australia’s equitable briefing policy and pursuant to clause 4.18 of the preferred supplier agreement, preferred suppliers are required to make all reasonable efforts to comply with the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy. Further, the LAQ practice management standards require preferred suppliers to record evidence on a file that reflects all reasonable endeavours have been made to engage female barristers in accordance with the requirements of the Case Management Standards. 

As part of LAQ’s commitment to this policy, targets have been set with respect to briefing female barristers and compliance is regularly monitored. Where preferred suppliers are repeatedly failing to brief female barristers, relevant firms will be notified of their non-compliance and may be asked to reassure LAQ of their efforts to comply with the policy. 

A list of female barristers and their areas of practice can be found on the Bar Association of Queensland's website (use the advanced search option to search by gender) and the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland 

Continuing professional development

As the end of the CPD year is fast approaching, LAQ is working to deliver online CPD training opportunities to preferred suppliers and CLCs and emails will be sent when training is available.  Please be aware there are limited spaces for training delivered via Microsoft Teams and this training is only available for LAQ staff, current preferred suppliers and CLC staff. 

Preferred suppliers are reminded that recorded CPD seminars are also available from Grants Online under the Information resources tab.  Recently added items include:

  • How to balance moral and legal obligations by Stafford Shepherd, CPD date 11 December 2020. Suggested QLS CPD category: practical legal ethics.
  • Using the DFV Best Practice Framework by Lyndi Hawkings-Guy and Katherine Kerr, CPD date 19 November 2020. Suggested QLS CPD category: professional skills.
  • DPSOA: recent legislative amendments, cases and sentencing on contraventions by Alisha Radford and Tristan Carlos, CPD date: 12 November 2020, Current CPD resource: Suggested QLS CPD category: professional skills.
  • Cross cultural competency series: identifying language needs of your client by Ben Grimes, CPD date 29 October 2020, suggested QLS CPD category: professional skills.

The Queensland Law Society also has a range of free CPD resources available for members. 

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 thoroughly and we analyse all feedback every quarter to see what processes and services can be improved.

 

 

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