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Expression of interest—Commonwealth family violence and cross examination of parties scheme

Expressions of interest are being sought from existing preferred suppliers for a new preferred supplier sub-list—family law cross examination scheme. Legal Aid Queensland will refer eligible parties under the Commonwealth Family Violence and Cross Examination of Parties Scheme (the scheme) to preferred suppliers included on the new sub-list.

About the scheme

On 10 March 2019, the Family Law Act 1975 was amended to include s102NA which will ban direct cross examination in certain circumstances. The provision applies to cross-examinations that occur after 10 September 2019. The Act protects victims of family violence by requiring that cross examination must be conducted by a legal representative. This can be either a private practitioner or one funded through this scheme. The ban applies to both parties and both parties are eligible to apply for representation under the scheme. Representation under the scheme is not means or merit tested however parties may be asked to contribute to the cost of their representation.

This scheme is funded by the Commonwealth Government and will be administered in Queensland by Legal Aid Queensland. Funding for representation under the scheme will be available at the current Legal Aid Queensland scale of fees for the preparation and appearance at the final hearing (including Counsel) and late stage legally assisted family dispute resolution, if appropriate.

Eligibility criteria

  • Preferred suppliers must either:
    • be included on the Legal Aid Queensland family law general panel; or
    • demonstrate a satisfactory level of experience and competence in family law matters and the expression of interest must include a description of the length and type of experience that they have together with a description of recent family law matters undertaken; and
  • The capacity to interact with persons affected by family violence and to understand the issues impacting on these persons and their lives.

All preferred suppliers included on the family law cross examination scheme sub-list will be required to comply with Legal Aid Queensland’s case management standards—family law and any other guidelines for representation under the scheme which are developed from time to time.

Expressions of interest should be submitted by the principal, director or partner of the preferred supplier firm and contain:

  • confirmation that the firm is included on the family law general panel or alternatively, details of the firm’s experience and competence in the area of family law
  • details of your firm’s experience and competence in delivering services to persons affected by family violence
  • confirmation that the firm will comply with LAQ’s case management standards family law and any guidelines for representation under the scheme which are developed from time to time.

Expressions of interest for the family law cross examination scheme panel are to be submitted to psupp.coordinator@legalaid.qld.gov.au

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