Go to content

Family cross examination of parties scheme

On 11 March 2019, the Family Law Act 1975 was amended to include s102NA which will see direct cross examination banned in certain circumstances. The Act aims to protect victims of family violence by requiring that cross examination must be conducted by a legal representative, either a privately retained practitioner or one funded through this scheme.

Family violence & cross examination scheme

This scheme is funded by the Commonwealth Government and will be administered in New South Wales by Legal Aid NSW. Funding for legal representation under the scheme will be available at the current Legal Aid fee scale for the preparation and appearance at the final hearing (including Counsel). Parties in the scheme will also be referred to legally assisted dispute resolution processes offered by Legal Aid NSW.

Panel lawyers have been invited to express interest in participating in the scheme and a list of solicitors has been created. It is envisaged that there will be further opportunities for lawyers to express interest in 2020. It is expected that lawyers expressing an interest will have:

  • Suitable experience in the area of family law;
  • The capacity to interact with persons affected by family violence and understand the issues impacting on these persons and their lives;
  • Sound judgment;
  • Excellent communication skills.

All solicitors included in the list will be required to observe the practice standards of the panel(s) on which they currently appointed to. They will also be expected to comply with the Guidelines for representation under the scheme (which is currently being developed).

Compulsory training

Solicitors accepted onto the list will be required to attend and satisfactorily participate in compulsory training.

Fee rates

Solicitors included in the list will be paid at legal aid rates for matters covered by the scheme.

Resources

  1. Cross-examination information sheet (for parties) (PDF 120KB)
  2. Cross-examination information sheet (for Court and LANSW) (PDF 203KB)
  3. FAQs for panel lawyers (PDF 182KB)

Enquiries

If you have any enquiries about being included in the list, please contact Legal Aid NSW by e-mail at CrossExamScheme@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.